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Title: The Martian

Author: George Du Maurier

Release Date: December 3, 2008 [EBook #27400]

Language: English


Produced by Audrey Longhurst, Christina and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at

[Illustration: GEORGE DU MAURIER]


A Novel




    "_Après le plaisir vient la peine;
     Après la peine, la vertu_"--Anon



TRILBY. Illustrated by the Author. Post 8vo, Cloth, Ornamental,
$1 75; Three-quarter Calf, $3 50; Three-quarter Crushed Levant,
$4 50.

PETER IBBETSON. With an Introduction by his Cousin, Lady *****
("Madge Plunket"). Edited and Illustrated by George du Maurier. Post
8vo, Cloth, Ornamental, $1 50; Three-quarter Calf, $3 25;
Three-quarter Levant, $4 25.

ENGLISH SOCIETY. Sketched by George du Maurier. With an Introduction
by William Dean Howells. Oblong 4to, Cloth, Ornamental, $2 50.

Published BY HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

Copyright, 1896, 1897, by Harper & Brothers.

_All rights reserved._


  PORTRAIT OF GEORGE DU MAURIER                       _Frontispiece_
  INSTITUTION F. BROSSARD                                          7
  THE NEW BOY                                                     11
  A LITTLE PEACE-MAKER                                            17
  LOUD RUNSWICK AND ANTOINETTE JOSSELIN                           29
  "'QUEL AMOUR D'ENFANT!'"                                        33
  "AMIS, LA MATINÉE EST BELLE"                                    51
  "TOO MUCH 'MONTE CRISTO,' I'M AFRAID"                           55
  LE PÈRE POLYPHÈME                                               71
  FANFARONNADE                                                    79
  MÉROVÉE RINGS THE BELL                                          85
  "WEEL MAY THE KEEL ROW"                                        107
  A TERTRE-JOUAN TO THE RESCUE!                                  113
  MADEMOISELLE MARCELINE                                         115
  "'IF HE ONLY KNEW!'"                                           117
  "'MAURICE AU PIQUET!'"                                         121
  "QUAND ON PERD, PAR TRISTE OCCURRENCE," ETC.                   127
  THREE LITTLE MAIDS FROM SCHOOL (1853)                          139
  SOLITUDE                                                       149
  "'PILE OU FACE--HEADS OR TAILS?'"                              153
  "A LITTLE WHITE POINT OF INTERROGATION"                        159
  "'BONJOUR, MONSIEUR BONZIG'"                                   171
  "'DEMI-TASSE--VOILÀ, M'SIEUR'"                                 179
  PETER THE HERMIT AU PIQUET                                     187
  "THE CARNIVAL OF VENICE"                                       197
  "'À VOUS, MONSIEUR DE LA GARDE!'"                              207
  "'I AM A VERY ALTERED PERSON!'"                                213
  "THE MOONLIGHT SONATA"                                         227
  ENTER MR. SCATCHERD                                            237
  BARTY GIVES HIMSELF AWAY                                       243
  SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR                                         245
  "'HÉLAS! MON JEUNE AMI ...'"                                   251
  "'YOU ASK ME WHY I LOOK SO PALE?'"                             277
  DR. HASENCLEVER AND MRS. BLETCHLEY                             305
  "'MARTIA, I HAVE DONE MY BEST'"                                311
  AM RHEIN                                                       315
  "'DOES SHE KNOW YOU'RE VERY FOND OF HER?'"                     319
  "LEAH WAS SUMMONED FROM BELOW"                                 333
  "BETWEEN TWO WELL KNOWN EARLS"                                 341
  "LE DERNIER DES ABENCERRAGES"                                  345
  "SARDONYX"                                                     355
  "'RATAPLAN, RATAPLAN'"                                         359
  "'HE PRESENTS ME FIRST TO MADAME JOSSELIN'"                    387
  "'I'M A PHILISTINE, AND AM NOT ASHAMED'"                       411
  "'ZE BRINCESS VOULD BE SO JARMT'"                              431
  MARTY                                                          453



When so great a man dies, it is generally found that a tangled
growth of more or less contentious literature has already gathered
round his name during his lifetime. He has been so written about, so
talked about, so riddled with praise or blame, that, to those who
have never seen him in the flesh, he has become almost a tradition,
a myth--and one runs the risk of losing all clew to his real

This is especially the case with the subject of this biography--one
is in danger of forgetting what manner of man he was who has so
taught and touched and charmed and amused us, and so happily changed
for us the current of our lives.

He has been idealized as an angel, a saint, and a demigod; he has
been caricatured as a self-indulgent sensualist, a vulgar Lothario,
a buffoon, a joker of practical jokes.

He was in reality the simplest, the most affectionate, and most
good-natured of men, the very soul of honor, the best of husbands
and fathers and friends, the most fascinating companion that ever
lived, and one who kept to the last the freshness and joyous spirits
of a school-boy and the heart of a child; one who never said or did
an unkind thing; probably never even thought one. Generous and
open-handed to a fault, slow to condemn, quick to forgive, and
gifted with a power of immediately inspiring affection and keeping
it forever after, such as I have never known in any one else, he
grew to be (for all his quick-tempered impulsiveness) one of the
gentlest and meekest and most humble-minded of men!

On me, a mere prosperous tradesman, and busy politician and man of
the world, devolves the delicate and responsible task of being the
first to write the life of the greatest literary genius this century
has produced, _and of revealing the strange secret of that genius_,
which has lighted up the darkness of these latter times as with a
pillar of fire by night.

This extraordinary secret has never been revealed before to any
living soul but his wife and myself. And that is _one_ of my
qualifications for this great labor of love.

Another is that for fifty years I have known him as never a man can
quite have known his fellow-man before--that for all that time he
has been more constantly and devotedly loved by me than any man can
ever quite have been loved by father, son, brother, or bosom friend.

Good heavens! Barty, man and boy, Barty's wife, their children,
their grandchildren, and all that ever concerned them or concerns
them still--all this has been the world to me, and ever will be.

He wished me to tell the _absolute truth_ about him, just as I know
it; and I look upon the fulfilment of this wish of his as a sacred
trust, and would sooner die any shameful death or brave any other
dishonor than fail in fulfilling it to the letter.

The responsibility before the world is appalling; and also the
difficulty, to a man of such training as mine. I feel already
conscious that I am trying to be literary myself, to seek for turns
of phrase that I should never have dared to use in talking to Barty,
or even in writing to him; that I am not at my ease, in short--not
_me_--but straining every nerve to be on my best behavior; and
that's about the worst behavior there is.

Oh! may some kindly light, born of a life's devotion and the happy
memories of half a century, lead me to mere naturalness and the use
of simple homely words, even my own native telegraphese! that I may
haply blunder at length into some fit form of expression which Barty
himself might have approved.

One would think that any sincere person who has learnt how to spell
his own language should at least be equal to such a modest
achievement as this; and yet it is one of the most difficult things
in the world!

My life is so full of Barty Josselin that I can hardly be said to
have ever had an existence apart from his; and I can think of no
easier or better way to tell Barty's history than just telling my
own--from the days I first knew him--and in my own way; that is, in
the best telegraphese I can manage--picking each precious word with
care, just as though I were going to cable it, as soon as written,
to Boston or New York, where the love of Barty Josselin shines with
even a brighter and warmer glow than here, or even in France; and
where the hate of him, the hideous, odious odium theologicum--the
_sæva indignatio_ of the Church--that once burned at so white a
heat, has burnt itself out at last, and is now as though it had
never been, and never could be again.

P. S.--(an after-thought):

And here, in case misfortune should happen to me before this book
comes out as a volume, I wish to record my thanks to my old friend
Mr. du Maurier for the readiness with which he has promised to
undertake, and the conscientiousness with which he will have
performed, his share of the work as editor and illustrator.

I also wish to state that it is to my beloved god-daughter, Roberta
Beatrix Hay (née Josselin), that I dedicate this attempt at a
biographical sketch of her illustrious father.

                                                     Robert Maurice.

Part First

    "De Paris à Versailles, loo, là,
       De Paris à Versailles--
     Il y a de belles allées,
       Vive le Roi de France!
     Il y a de belles allées,
       Vivent les écoliers!"

One sultry Saturday afternoon in the summer of 1847 I sat at my desk
in the junior school-room, or _salle d'études des petits_, of the
Institution F. Brossard, Rond-point de l'Avenue de St.-Cloud; or, as
it is called now, Avenue du Bois de Boulogne--or, as it was called
during the Second Empire, Avenue du Prince Impérial, or else de
l'Impératrice; I'm not sure.

There is not much stability in such French names, I fancy; but their
sound is charming, and always gives me the nostalgia of Paris--Royal
Paris, Impérial Paris, Republican Paris!... whatever they may call
it ten or twelve years hence. Paris is always Paris, and always will
be, in spite of the immortal Haussmann, both for those who love it
and for those who don't.

All the four windows were open. Two of them, freely and frankly, on
to the now deserted play-ground, admitting the fragrance of lime and
syringa and lilac, and other odors of a mixed quality.

Two other windows, defended by an elaborate network of iron wire and
a formidable array of spiked iron rails beyond, opened on to the
Rond-point, or meeting of the cross-roads--one of which led
northeast to Paris through the Arc de Triomphe; the other three
through woods and fields and country lanes to such quarters of the
globe as still remain. The world is wide.

In the middle of this open space a stone fountain sent up a jet of
water three feet high, which fell back with a feeble splash into the
basin beneath. There was comfort in the sound on such a hot day, and
one listened for it half unconsciously; and tried not to hear,
instead, Weber's "Invitation à la Valse," which came rippling in
intermittent waves from the open window of the distant _parloir_,
where Chardonnet was practising the piano.

    "Tum-te-dum-tum-tum ...
    Tum-te-dum-di, diddle-iddle um!"

_e da capo_, again and again. Chardonnet was no heaven-born

Monsieur Bonzig--or "le Grand Bonzig," as he was called behind his
back--sat at his table on the estrade, correcting the exercises of
the eighth class (huitième), which he coached in Latin and French.
It was the lowest class in the school; yet one learnt much in it
that was of consequence; not, indeed, that Balbus built a wall--as
I'm told we learn over here (a small matter to make such a fuss
about, after so many years)--but that the Lord made heaven and earth
in six days, and rested on the seventh.

He (Monsieur Bonzig) seemed hot and weary, as well he might, and
sighed, and looked up every now and then to mop his brow and think.
And as he gazed into the green and azure depths beyond the north
window, his dark brown eyes quivered and vibrated from side to side
through his spectacles with a queer quick tremolo, such as I have
never seen in any eyes but his.


About five-and-twenty boys sat at their desks; boys of all ages between
seven and fourteen--many with closely cropped hair, "à la malcontent,"
like nice little innocent convicts; and nearly all in blouses, mostly
blue; some with their garments loosely flowing; others confined at the
waist by a tricolored ceinture de gymnastique, so deep and stiff it
almost amounted to stays.

As for the boys themselves, some were energetic and
industrious--some listless and lazy and lolling, and quite languid
with the heat--some fidgety and restless, on the lookout for
excitement of any kind: a cab or carriage raising the dust on its
way to the Bois--a water-cart laying it (there were no hydrants
then); a courier bearing royal despatches, or a mounted orderly; the
Passy omnibus, to or fro every ten or twelve minutes; the marchand
de coco with his bell; a regiment of the line with its band; a
chorus of peripatetic Orphéonistes--a swallow, a butterfly, a
humblebee; a far-off balloon, oh, joy!--any sight or sound to
relieve the tedium of those two mortal school-hours that dragged
their weary lengths from half past one till half past three--every
day but Sunday and Thursday.

(Even now I find the early afternoon a little trying to wear through
without a nap, say from two to four.)

At 3.30 there would come a half-hour's interval of play, and then
the class of French literature from four till dinner-time at six--a
class that was more than endurable on account of the liveliness and
charm of Monsieur Durosier, who journeyed all the way from the
Collége de France every Saturday afternoon in June and July to tell
us boys of the quatrième all about Villon and Ronsard, and Marot and
Charles d'Orléans (_exceptis excipiendis_, of course), and other
pleasant people who didn't deal in Greek or Latin or mathematics,
and knew better than to trouble themselves overmuch about formal
French grammar and niggling French prosody.

Besides, everything was pleasant on a Saturday afternoon on account
of the nearness of the day of days--

    "And that's the day that comes between
       The Saturday and Monday"....

in France.

I had just finished translating my twenty lines of Virgil--

    "Infandum, regina, jubes renovare," etc.

Oh, crimini, but it _was_ hot! and how I disliked the pious Æneas! I
couldn't have hated him worse if I'd been poor Dido's favorite
younger brother (not mentioned by Publius Vergilius Maro, if I

Palaiseau, who sat next to me, had a cold in his head, and kept
sniffing in a manner that got on my nerves.

"Mouche-toi donc, animal!" I whispered; "tu me dégoûtes, à la fin!"

Palaiseau always sniffed, whether he had a cold or not.

"Taisez-vous, Maurice--ou je vous donne cent vers à copier!" said M.
Bonzig, and his eyes quiveringly glittered through his glasses as he
fixed me.

Palaiseau, in his brief triumph, sniffed louder.

"Palaiseau," said Monsieur Bonzig, "si vous vous serviez de votre
mouchoir--hein? Je crois que cela ne gênerait personne!" (If you
were to use your pocket-handkerchief--eh? I don't think it would
inconvenience anybody!)

At this there was a general titter all round, which was immediately
suppressed, as in a court of law; and Palaiseau reluctantly and
noisily did as he was told.

In front of me that dishonest little sneak Rapaud, with a tall
parapet of books before him to serve as a screen, one hand shading
his eyes, and an inkless pen in the other, was scratching his
copy-book with noisy earnestness, as if time were too short for all
he had to write about the pious Æneas's recitative, while he
surreptitiously read the _Comte de Monte Cristo_, which lay open in
his lap--just at the part where the body, sewn up in a sack, was
going to be hurled into the Mediterranean. I knew the page well.
There was a splash of red ink on it.

It made my blood boil with virtuous indignation to watch him, and I
coughed and hemmed again and again to attract his attention, for his
back was nearly towards me. He heard me perfectly, but took no notice
whatever, the deceitful little beast. He was to have given up _Monte
Cristo_ to me at half-past two, and here it was twenty minutes to three!
Besides which, it was _my Monte Cristo_, bought with my own small
savings, and smuggled into school by me at great risk to myself.

"Maurice!" said M. Bonzig.

"Oui, m'sieur!" said I. I will translate:

"You shall conjugate and copy out for me forty times the compound
verb, 'I cough without necessity to distract the attention of my
comrade Rapaud from his Latin exercise!'"

"Moi, m'sieur?" I ask, innocently.

"Oui, vous!"

"Bien, m'sieur!"

Just then there was a clatter by the fountain, and the shrill small
pipe of D'Aurigny, the youngest boy in the school, exclaimed:

"Hé! Hé! Oh là là! Le Roi qui passe!"

[Illustration: THE NEW BOY]

And we all jumped up, and stood on forms, and craned our necks to see
Louis Philippe I. and his Queen drive quickly by in their big blue
carriage and four, with their two blue-and-silver liveried outriders
trotting in front, on their way from St.-Cloud to the Tuileries.

"Sponde! Sélancy! fermez les fenêtres, ou je vous mets tous au pain
sec pour un mois!" thundered M. Bonzig, who did not approve of kings
and queens--an appalling threat which appalled nobody, for when he
forgot to forget he always relented; for instance, he quite forgot
to insist on that formidable compound verb of mine.

Suddenly the door of the school-room flew open, and the tall, portly
figure of Monsieur Brossard appeared, leading by the wrist a very
fair-haired boy of thirteen or so, dressed in an Eton jacket and
light blue trousers, with a white chimney-pot silk hat, which he
carried in his hand--an English boy, evidently; but of an aspect so
singularly agreeable one didn't need to be English one's self to
warm towards him at once.

"Monsieur Bonzig, and gentlemen!" said the head master (in French,
of course). "Here is the new boy; he calls himself Bartholomiou
Josselin. He is English, but he knows French as well as you. I hope
you will find in him a good comrade, honorable and frank and brave,
and that he will find the same in you.--Maurice!" (that was me).

"Oui, m'sieur!"

"I specially recommend Josselin to you."

"Moi, m'sieur?"

"Yes, _you_; he is of your age, and one of your compatriots. Don't

"Bien, m'sieur."

"And now, Josselin, take that vacant desk, which will be yours
henceforth. You will find the necessary books and copy-books inside;
you will be in the fifth class, under Monsieur Dumollard. You will
occupy yourself with the study of Cornelius Nepos, the commentaries
of Cæsar, and Xenophon's retreat of the ten thousand. Soyez diligent
et attentif, mon ami; à plus tard!"

He gave the boy a friendly pat on the cheek and left the room.

Josselin walked to his desk and sat down, between d'Adhémar and
Laferté, both of whom were _en cinquième_. He pulled a Cæsar out of
his desk and tried to read it. He became an object of passionate
interest to the whole school-room, till M. Bonzig said:

"The first who lifts his eyes from his desk to stare at '_le
nouveau_' shall be _au piquet_ for half an hour!" (To be _au piquet_
is to stand with your back to a tree for part of the following
play-time; and the play-time which was to follow would last just
thirty minutes.)

Presently I looked up, in spite of piquet, and caught the new boy's
eye, which was large and blue and soft, and very sad and
sentimental, and looked as if he were thinking of his mammy, as I
did constantly of mine during my first week at Brossard's, three
years before.

Soon, however, that sad eye slowly winked at me, with an expression
so droll that I all but laughed aloud.

Then its owner felt in the inner breast pocket of his Eton jacket
with great care, and delicately drew forth by the tail a very fat
white mouse, that seemed quite tame, and ran up his arm to his wide
shirt collar, and tried to burrow there; and the boys began to
interest themselves breathlessly in this engaging little quadruped.

M. Bonzig looked up again, furious; but his spectacles had grown
misty from the heat and he couldn't see, and he wiped them; and
meanwhile the mouse was quickly smuggled back to its former nest.

Josselin drew a large clean pocket-handkerchief from his trousers
and buried his head in his desk, and there was silence.

"La!--ré, fa!--la!--ré"--

So strummed, over and over again, poor Chardonnet in his remote
parlor--he was getting tired.

I have heard "L'Invitation à la Valse" many hundreds of times since
then, and in many countries, but never that bar without thinking of
Josselin and his little white mouse.

"Fermez votre pupitre, Josselin," said M. Bonzig, after a few

Josselin shut his desk and beamed genially at the usher.

"What book have you got there, Josselin--Cæsar or Cornelius Nepos?"

Josselin held the book with its title-page open for M. Bonzig to

"Are you dumb, Josselin? Can't you speak?"

Josselin tried to speak, but uttered no sound.

"Josselin, come here--opposite me."

Josselin came and stood opposite M. Bonzig and made a nice little

"What have you got in your mouth,
Josselin--chocolate?--barley-sugar?--caoutchouc?--or an India-rubber

Josselin shrugged his shoulders and looked pensive, but spoke never
a word.

"Open quick the mouth, Josselin!"

And Monsieur Bonzig, leaning over the table, deftly put his thumb
and forefinger between the boy's lips, and drew forth slowly a large
white pocket-handkerchief, which seemed never to end, and threw it
on the floor with solemn dignity.

The whole school-room was convulsed with laughter.

"Josselin--leave the room--you will be severely punished, as you
deserve--you are a vulgar buffoon--a jo-crisse--a paltoquet, a
mountebank! Go, petit polisson--go!"

The polisson picked up his pocket-handkerchief and went--quite
quietly, with simple manly grace; and that's the first I ever saw of
Barty Josselin--and it was some fifty years ago.

       *       *       *       *       *

At 3.30 the bell sounded for the half-hour's recreation, and the
boys came out to play.

Josselin was sitting alone on a bench, thoughtful, with his hand in
the inner breast pocket of his Eton jacket.

M. Bonzig went straight to him, buttoned up and severe--his eyes
dancing, and glancing from right to left through his spectacles; and
Josselin stood up very politely.

"Sit down!" said M. Bonzig; and sat beside him, and talked to him
with grim austerity for ten minutes or more, and the boy seemed very
penitent and sorry.

Presently he drew forth from his pocket his white mouse, and showed
it to the long usher, who looked at it with great seeming interest
for a long time, and finally took it into the palm of his own
hand--where it stood on its hind legs--and stroked it with his
little finger.

Soon Josselin produced a small box of chocolate drops, which he
opened and offered to M. Bonzig, who took one and put it in his
mouth, and seemed to like it. Then they got up and walked to and fro
together, and the usher put his arm round the boy's shoulder, and
there was peace and good-will between them; and before they parted
Josselin had intrusted his white mouse to "le grand Bonzig"--who
intrusted it to Mlle. Marceline, the head lingère, a very kind and
handsome person, who found for it a comfortable home in an old
bonbon-box lined with blue satin, where it had a large family and
fed on the best, and lived happily ever after.

But things did not go smoothly for Josselin all that Saturday
afternoon. When Bonzig left, the boys gathered round "le nouveau,"
large and small, and asked questions. And just before the bell
sounded for French literature, I saw him defending himself with his
two British fists against Dugit, a big boy with whiskers, who had
him by the collar and was kicking him to rights. It seems that Dugit
had called him, in would-be English, "Pretty voman," and this had so
offended him that he had hit the whiskered one straight in the eye.

Then French literature for the _quatrième_ till six; then dinner for
all--soup, boiled beef (not salt), lentils; and Gruyère cheese,
quite two ounces each; then French rounders till half past seven;
then lesson preparation (with _Monte Cristos_ in one's lap, or
_Mysteries of Paris_, or _Wandering Jews_) till nine.

Then, ding-dang-dong, and, at the sleepy usher's nod, a sleepy boy
would rise and recite the perfunctory evening prayer in a dull
singsong voice--beginning, "Notre Père, qui êtes aux cieux, vous
dont le regard scrutateur pénêtre jusque dans les replis les plus
profonds de nos coeurs," etc., etc., and ending, "au nom du Père,
du Fils, et du St. Esprit, ainsi soit-il!"

And then, bed--Josselin in my dormitory, but a long way off, between
d'Adhémar and Laferté; while Palaiseau snorted and sniffed himself
to sleep in the bed next mine, and Rapaud still tried to read the
immortal works of the elder Dumas by the light of a little oil-lamp
six yards off, suspended from a nail in the blank wall over the

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A LITTLE PEACE-MAKER]

The Institution F. Brossard was a very expensive private school,
just twice as expensive as the most expensive of the Parisian public
schools--Ste.-Barbe, François Premier, Louis-le-Grand, etc.

These great colleges, which were good enough for the sons of Louis
Philippe, were not thought good enough for me by my dear mother, who
was Irish, and whose only brother had been at Eton, and was now
captain in an English cavalry regiment--so she had aristocratic
notions. It used to be rather an Irish failing in those days.

My father, James Maurice, also English (and a little Scotch), and by
no means an aristocrat, was junior partner in the great firm of
Vougeot-Conti et Cie., wine merchants, Dijon. And at Dijon I had
spent much of my childhood, and been to a day school there, and led
a very happy life indeed.

Then I was sent to Brossard's school, in the Avenue de St.-Cloud,
Paris, where I was again very happy, and fond of (nearly) everybody,
from the splendid head master and his handsome son, Monsieur
Mérovée, down to Antoine and Francisque, the men-servants, and Père
Jaurion, the concierge, and his wife, who sold croquets and pains
d'épices and "blom-boudingues," and sucre-d'orge and nougat and pâte
de guimauve; also pralines, dragées, and gray sandy cakes of
chocolate a penny apiece; and gave one unlimited credit; and never
dunned one, unless bribed to do so by parents, so as to impress on
us small boys a proper horror of debt.

Whatever principles I have held through life on this important
subject I set down to a private interview my mother had with le père
et la mère Jaurion, to whom I had run in debt five francs during the
horrible winter of '47-8. They made my life a hideous burden to me
for a whole summer term, and I have never owed any one a penny

The Institution consisted of four separate buildings, or "corps de

In the middle, dominating the situation, was a Greco-Roman pavilion,
with a handsome Doric portico elevated ten or twelve feet above the
ground, on a large, handsome terrace paved with asphalt and shaded
by horse-chestnut trees. Under this noble esplanade, and ventilating
themselves into it, were the kitchen and offices and pantry, and
also the refectory--a long room, furnished with two parallel tables,
covered at the top by a greenish oil-cloth spotted all over with
small black disks; and alongside of these tables were wooden forms
for the boys to sit together at meat--"la table des grands," "la
table des petits," each big enough for thirty boys and three or four
masters. M. Brossard and his family breakfasted and dined apart, in
their own private dining-room, close by.

In this big refectory, three times daily, at 7.30 in the morning, at
noon, and at 6 P.M., boys and masters took their quotidian
sustenance quite informally, without any laying of cloths or saying
of grace either before or after; one ate there to live--one did not
live merely to eat, at the Pension Brossard.

Breakfast consisted of a thick soup, rich in dark-hued garden
produce, and a large hunk of bread--except on Thursdays, when a pat
of butter was served out to each boy instead of that Spartan
broth--that "brouet noir des Lacédémoniens," as we called it.

Everybody who has lived in France knows how good French butter can
often be--and French bread. We triturated each our pat with
rock-salt and made a round ball of it, and dug a hole in our hunk to
put it in, and ate it in the play-ground with clasp-knives, making
it last as long as we could.

This, and the half-holiday in the afternoon, made Thursday a day to
be marked with a white stone. When you are up at five in summer, at
half past five in the winter, and have had an hour and a half or two
hours' preparation before your first meal at 7.30, French
bread-and-butter is not a bad thing to break your fast with.

Then, from eight till twelve, class--Latin, Greek, French, English,
German--and mathematics and geometry--history, geography, chemistry,
Physics--everything that you must get to know before you can hope to
obtain your degree of Bachelor of Letters or Sciences, or be
admitted to the Polytechnic School, or the Normal, or the Central,
or that of Mines, or that of Roads and Bridges, or the Military
School of St. Cyr, or the Naval School of the Borda. All this was
fifty years ago; of course names of schools may have changed, and
even the sciences themselves.

Then, at twelve, the second breakfast, meat (or salt fish on
Fridays), a dish of vegetables, lentils, red or white beans, salad,
potatoes, etc.; a dessert, which consisted of fruit or cheese, or a
French pudding. This banquet over, a master would stand up in his
place and call for silence, and read out loud the list of boys who
were to be kept in during the play-hour that followed:

"_À la retenue_, Messieurs Maurice, Rapaud, de Villars, Jolivet,
Sponde," etc. Then play till 1.30; and very good play, too;
rounders, which are better and far more complicated in France than
in England; "barres"; "barres traversières," as rough a game as
football; fly the garter, or "la raie," etc., etc., according to the
season. And then afternoon study, at the summons of that dreadful
bell whose music was so sweet when it rang the hour for meals or
recreation or sleep--so hideously discordant at 5.30 on a foggy
December Monday morning.

Altogether eleven hours work daily and four hours play, and sleep
from nine till five or half past; I find this leaves half an hour
unaccounted for, so I must have made a mistake somewhere. But it all
happened fifty years ago, so it's not of much consequence now.

Probably they have changed all that in France by this time, and made
school life a little easier there, especially for nice little
English boys--and nice little French boys too. I hope so, very much;
for French boys can be as nice as any, especially at such
institutions as F. Brossard's, if there are any left.

Most of my comrades, aged from seven to nineteen or twenty, were the
sons of well-to-do fathers--soldiers, sailors, rentiers, owners of
land, public officials, in professions or business or trade. A dozen
or so were of aristocratic descent--three or four very great swells
indeed; for instance, two marquises (one of whom spoke English,
having an English mother); a count bearing a string of beautiful
names a thousand years old, and even more--for they were constantly
turning up in the Classe d'Histoire de France au moyen âge; a
Belgian viscount of immense wealth and immense good-nature; and
several very rich Jews, who were neither very clever nor very
stupid, but, as a rule, rather popular.

Then we had a few of humble station--the son of the woman who washed
for us; Jules, the natural son of a brave old caporal in the
trente-septième légère (a countryman of M. Brossard's), who was not
well off--so I suspect his son was taught and fed for nothing--the
Brossards were very liberal; Filosel, the only child of a small
retail hosier in the Rue St.-Denis (who thought no sacrifice too
great to keep his son at such a first-rate private school), and

During the seven years I spent at Brossard's I never once heard
paternal wealth (or the want of it) or paternal rank or position
alluded to by master, pupil, or servant--especially never a word or
an allusion that could have given a moment's umbrage to the most
sensitive little only son of a well-to-do West End cheese-monger
that ever got smuggled into a private suburban boarding-school kept
"for the sons of gentlemen only," and was so chaffed and bullied
there that his father had to take him away, and send him to Eton
instead, where the "sons of gentlemen" have better manners, it
seems; or even to France, where "the sons of gentlemen" have the
best manners of all--or used to have before a certain 2d of
December--as distinctly I remember; nous avons changé tout cela!

The head master was a famous republican, and after February, '48,
was elected a "représentant du peuple" for the Dauphiné, and sat in
the Chamber of Deputies--for a very short time, alas!

So I fancy that the titled and particled boys--"les nobles"--were of
families that had drifted away from the lily and white flag of their
loyal ancestors--from Rome and the Pope and the past.

Anyhow, none of our young nobles, when at home, seemed to live in
the noble Faubourg across the river, and there were no clericals or
ultramontanes among us, high or low--we were all red, white, and
blue in equal and impartial combination. All this _par parenthèse_.

On the asphalt terrace also, but separated from the head master's
classic habitation by a small square space, was the _lingerie_,
managed by Mlle. Marceline and her two subordinates, Constance and
Félicité; and beneath this, le père et la mère Jaurion sold their
cheap goodies, and jealously guarded the gates that secluded us from
the wicked world outside--where women are, and merchants of tobacco,
and cafés where you can sip the opalescent absinthe, and libraries
where you can buy books more diverting than the _Adventures of

On the opposite, or western, side was the gymnastic ground, enclosed
in a wire fence, but free of access at all times--a place of
paramount importance in all French schools, public and private.

From the doors of the refectory the general playground sloped gently
down northwards to the Rond-point, where it was bounded by double gates
of wood and iron that were always shut; and on each hither side of these
rose an oblong dwelling of red brick, two stories high, and capable of
accommodating thirty boys, sleeping or waking, at work or rest or play;
for in bad weather we played indoors, or tried to, chess, draughts,
backgammon, and the like--even blind-man's-buff (_Colin Maillard_)--even
puss in the corner (_aux quatre coins!_).

All the class-rooms and school-rooms were on the ground-floor;
above, the dormitories and masters' rooms.

These two buildings were symmetrical; one held the boys over
fourteen, from the third class up to the first; the other (into the
"salle d'études" of which the reader has already been admitted), the
boys from the fourth down to the eighth, or lowest, form of
all--just the reverse of an English school.

On either side of the play-ground were narrow strips of garden
cultivated by boys whose tastes lay that way, and small arbors
overgrown with convolvulus and other creepers--snug little verdant
retreats, where one fed the mind on literature not sanctioned by the
authorities, and smoked cigarettes of caporal, and even colored
pipes, and was sick without fear of detection (_piquait son renard
sans crainte d'être collé_).

Finally, behind Père Brossard's Ciceronian Villa, on the south, was
a handsome garden (we called it Tusculum); a green flowery
pleasaunce reserved for the head master's married daughter (Madame
Germain) and her family--good people with whom we had nothing to do.

Would I could subjoin a ground-plan of the Institution F. Brossard,
where Barty Josselin spent four such happy years, and was so
universally and singularly popular!

Why should I take such pains about all this, and dwell so
laboriously on all these minute details?

Firstly, because it all concerns Josselin and the story of his
life--and I am so proud and happy to be the biographer of such a
man, at his own often expressed desire, that I hardly know where to
leave off and what to leave out. Also, this is quite a new trade for
me, who have only dealt hitherto in foreign wines, and British party
politics, and bimetallism--and can only write in telegraphese!

Secondly, because I find it such a keen personal joy to evoke and
follow out, and realize to myself by means of pen and pencil, all
these personal reminiscences; and with such a capital excuse for

At the top of every page I have to pull myself together to remind
myself that it is not of the Right Honorable Sir Robert Maurice,
Bart., M.P., that I am telling the tale--any one can do that--but of
a certain Englishman who wrote _Sardonyx_, to the everlasting joy
and pride of the land of his _fathers_--and of a certain Frenchman
who wrote _Berthe aux grands pieds_, and moved his _mother_-country
to such delight of tears and tender laughter as it had never known

Dear me! the boys who lived and learnt at Brossard's school fifty
years ago, and the masters who taught there (peace to their ashes!),
are far more to my taste than the actual human beings among whom my
dull existence of business and politics and society is mostly spent
in these days. The school must have broken up somewhere about the
early fifties. The stuccoed Doric dwelling was long since replaced
by an important stone mansion, in a very different style of
architecture--the abode of a wealthy banker--and this again, later,
by a palace many stories high. The two school-houses in red brick
are no more; the play-ground grew into a luxuriant garden, where a
dozen very tall trees overtopped the rest; from their evident age
and their position in regard to each other they must have been old
friends of mine grown out of all knowledge.

I saw them only twenty years ago, from the top of a Passy omnibus,
and recognized every one of them. I went from the Arc de Triomphe to
Passy and back quite a dozen times, on purpose--once for each tree!
It touched me to think how often the author of _Sardonyx_ has stood
leaning his back against one of those giants--_au piquet_!

They are now no more; and Passy omnibuses no longer ply up and down
the Allée du Bois de Boulogne, which is now an avenue of palaces.

An umbrageous lane that led from the Rond-point to Chaillot (that
very forgettable, and by me quite forgotten, quarter) separated the
Institution F. Brossard from the Pensionnat Mélanie Jalabert--a
beautiful pseudo-Gothic castle which was tenanted for a while by
Prince de Carabas-Chenonceaux after Mlle. Jalabert had broken up her
ladies' school in 1849.

My mother boarded and lodged there, with my little sister, in the
summer of 1847. There were one or two other English lady boarders,
half-pupils--much younger than my mother--indeed, they may be alive
now. If they are, and this should happen to meet their eye, may I
ask them to remember kindly the Irish wife of the Scotch merchant of
French wines who supplied them with the innocent vintage of Mâcon
(ah! who knows that innocence better than I?), and his pretty little
daughter who played the piano so nicely; may I beg them also not to
think it necessary to communicate with me on the subject, or, if
they do, not to expect an answer?

One night Mlle. Jalabert gave a small dance, and Mérovée Brossard
was invited, and also half a dozen of his favorite pupils, and a
fair-haired English boy of thirteen danced with the beautiful
Miss ----.

They came to grief and fell together in a heap on the slippery
floor; but no bones were broken, and there was much good-natured
laughter at their expense. If Miss ---- (that was) is still among
the quick, and remembers, it may interest her to know that that
fair-haired English boy's name was no less than Bartholomew
Josselin; and that another English boy, somewhat thick-set and
stumpy, and not much to look at, held her in deep love, admiration,
and awe--and has not forgotten!

If I happen to mention this, it is not with a view of tempting her
into any correspondence about this little episode of bygone years,
should this ever meet her eye.

The Sunday morning that followed Barty's début at Brossard's the
boys went to church in the Rue de l'Église, Passy--and he with them,
for he had been brought up a Roman Catholic. And I went round to
Mlle. Jalabert's to see my mother and sister.

I told them all about the new boy, and they were much interested.
Suddenly my mother exclaimed:

"Bartholomew Josselin? why, dear me! that must be Lord Runswick's
son--Lord Runswick, who was the eldest son of the present Marquis of
Whitby. He was in the 17th lancers with your uncle Charles, who was
very fond of him. He left the army twenty years ago, and married
Lady Selina Jobhouse--and his wife went mad. Then he fell in love
with the famous Antoinette Josselin at the 'Bouffes,' and wanted so
much to marry her that he tried to get a divorce; it was tried in
the House of Lords, I believe; but he didn't succeed--so
they--a--well--they contracted a--a _morganatic_ marriage, you know;
and your friend was born. And poor Lord Runswick was killed in a
duel about a dog, when his son was two years old; and his mother
left the stage, and--"

Just here the beautiful Miss ---- came in with her sister, and there
was no more of Josselin's family history; and I forgot all about it
for the day. For I passionately loved the beautiful Miss ----; I was
just thirteen!

But next morning I said to him at breakfast, in English,

"Wasn't your father killed in a duel?"

"Yes," said Barty, looking grave.

"Wasn't he called Lord Runswick?"

"Yes," said Barty, looking graver still.

"Then why are you called Josselin?"

"Ask no questions and you'll get no lies," said Barty, looking very
grave indeed--and I dropped the subject.

And here I may as well rapidly go through the well-known story of
his birth and early childhood.

His father, Lord Runswick, fell desperately in love with the
beautiful Antoinette Josselin after his own wife had gone hopelessly
mad. He failed to obtain a divorce, naturally; Antoinette was as
much in love with him, and they lived together as man and wife, and
Barty was born. They were said to be the handsomest couple in Paris,
and immensely popular among all who knew them, though of course
society did not open its doors to la belle Madame de Ronsvic, as she
was called.

She was the daughter of poor fisher-folk in Le Pollet, Dieppe. I,
with Barty for a guide, have seen the lowly dwelling where her
infancy and childhood were spent, and which Barty remembered well,
and also such of her kin as was still alive in 1870, and felt it was
good to come of such a race, humble as they were. They were
physically splendid people, almost as splendid as Barty himself;
and, as I was told by many who knew them well, as good to know and
live with as they were good to look at--all that was easy to
see--and their manners were delightful.

When Antoinette was twelve, she went to stay in Paris with her uncle
and aunt, who were concierges to Prince Scorchakoff in the Rue du
Faubourg St.-Honoré; next door, or next door but one, to the Élysée
Bourbon, as it was called then. And there the Princess took a fancy
to her, and had her carefully educated, especially in music; for the
child had a charming voice and a great musical talent, besides being
beautiful to the eye--gifts which her son inherited.

Then she became for three or four years a pupil at the
Conservatoire, and finally went on the stage, and was soon one of
the most brilliant stars of the Parisian theatre at its most
brilliant period.

Then she met the handsome English lord, who was forty, and they fell
in love with each other, and all happened as I have told.


In the spring of 1837 Lord Runswick was killed in a duel by
Lieutenant Rondelis, of the deuxième Spahis. Antoinette's dog had
jumped up to play with the lieutenant, who struck it with his cane
(for he was "_en pékin_," it appears--in mufti); and Lord Runswick
laid his own cane across the Frenchman's back; and next morning they
fought with swords, by the Mare aux Biches, in the Bois de
Boulogne--a little secluded, sedgy pool, hardly more than six inches
deep and six yards across. Barty and I have often skated there as

The Englishman was run through at the first lunge, and fell dead on
the spot.

A few years ago Barty met the son of the man who killed Lord
Runswick--it was at the French Embassy in Albert Gate. They were
introduced to each other, and M. Rondelis told Barty how his own
father's life had been poisoned by sorrow and remorse at having had
"la main si malheureuse" on that fatal morning by the Mare aux

Poor Antoinette, mad with grief, left the stage, and went with her
little boy to live in the Pollet, near her parents. Three years
later she died there, of typhus, and Barty was left an orphan and
penniless; for Lord Runswick had been poor, and lived beyond his
means, and died in debt.

Lord Archibald Rohan, a favorite younger brother of Runswick's (not
the heir), came to Dieppe from Dover (where he was quartered with
his regiment, the 7th Royal Fusileers) to see the boy, and took a
fancy to him, and brought him back to Dover to show his wife, who
was also French--a daughter of the old Gascon family of
Lonlay-Savignac, who had gone into trade (chocolate) and become
immensely rich. They (the Rohans) had been married eight years, and
had as yet no children of their own. Lady Archibald was delighted
with the child, who was quite beautiful. She fell in love with the
little creature at the first sight of him--and fed him, on the
evening of his arrival, with crumpets and buttered toast. And in
return he danced "La Dieppoise" for her, and sang her a little
ungrammatical ditty in praise of wine and women. It began:

    "Beuvons, beuvons, beuvons donc
       De ce vin le meilleur du monde ...
     Beuvons, beuvons, beuvons donc
       De ce vin, car il est très-bon!
     Si je n'en beuvions pas,
       J'aurions la pépi-e!
     Ce qui me...."

I have forgotten the rest--indeed, I am not quite sure that it is
fit for the drawing-room!

"Ah, mon Dieu! quel amour d'enfant! Oh! gardons-le!" cried my lady,
and they kept him.

I can imagine the scene. Indeed, Lady Archibald has described it to
me, and Barty remembered it well. It was his earliest English
recollection, and he has loved buttered toast and crumpets ever
since--as well as women and wine. And thus he was adopted by the
Archibald Rohans. They got him an English governess and a pony; and
in two years he went to a day school in Dover, kept by a Miss Stone,
who is actually alive at present and remembers him well; and so he
became quite a little English boy, but kept up his French through
Lady Archibald, who was passionately devoted to him, although by
this time she had a little daughter of her own, whom Barty always
looked upon as his sister, and who is now dead. (She became Lord
Frognal's wife--he died in 1870--and she afterwards married Mr.
Justice Robertson.)

Barty's French grandfather and grandmother came over from Dieppe
once a year to see him, and were well pleased with the happy
condition, of his new life; and the more Lord and Lady Archibald saw
of these grandparents of his, the more pleased they were that he had
become the child of their adoption. For they were first-rate people
to descend from, these simple toilers of the sea; better, perhaps,
_cæteris paribus_, than even the Rohans themselves.

All this early phase of little Josselin's life seems to have been
singularly happy. Every year at Christmas he went with the Rohans to
Castle Rohan in Yorkshire, where his English grandfather lived, the
Marquis of Whitby--and where he was petted and made much of by all
the members, young and old (especially female), of that very ancient
family, which had originally come from Brittany in France, as the
name shows; but were not millionaires, and never had been.

Often, too, they went to Paris--and in 1847 Colonel Lord Archibald
sold out, and they elected to go and live there, in the Rue du Bac;
and Barty was sent to the Institution F. Brossard, where he was soon
destined to become the most popular boy, with boys and masters
alike, that had ever been in the school (in any school, I should
think), in spite of conduct that was too often the reverse of

Indeed, even from his early boyhood he was the most extraordinarily
gifted creature I have ever known, or even heard of; a kind of
spontaneous humorous Crichton, to whom all things came easily--and
life itself as an uncommonly good joke. During that summer term of
1847 I did not see very much of him. He was in the class below mine,
and took up with Laferté and little Bussy-Rabutin, who were
first-rate boys, and laughed at everything he said, and worshipped
him. So did everybody else, sooner or later; indeed, it soon became
evident that he was a most exceptional little person.

[Illustration: "'QUEL AMOUR D'ENFANT!'"]

In the first place, his beauty was absolutely angelic, as will be
readily believed by all who have known him since. The mere sight of
him as a boy made people pity his father and mother for being dead!

Then he had a charming gift of singing little French and English
ditties, comic or touching, with his delightful fresh young pipe,
and accompanying himself quite nicely on either piano or guitar
without really knowing a note of music. Then he could draw
caricatures that we boys thought inimitable, much funnier than
Cham's or Bertall's or Gavarni's, and collected and treasured up. I
have dozens of them now--they make me laugh still, and bring back
memories of which the charm is indescribable; and their pathos, to

And then how funny he was himself, without effort, and with a fun
that never failed! He was a born buffoon of the graceful kind--more
whelp or kitten than monkey--ever playing the fool, in and out of
season, but somehow always _à propos_; and French boys love a boy
for that more than anything else; or did, in those days.

Such very simple buffooneries as they were, too--that gave him (and
us) such stupendous delight!

For instance--he is sitting at evening study between Bussy-Rabutin
and Laferté; M. Bonzig is usher for the evening.

At 8.30 Bussy-Rabutin gives way; in a whisper he informs Barty that
he means to take a nap ("_piquer un chien_"), with his Gradus opened
before him, and his hand supporting his weary brow as though in deep
study. "But," says he--

"If Bonzig finds me out (si Bonzig me colle), give me a gentle

"All right!" says Barty--and off goes Bussy-Rabutin into his snooze.

8.45.--Poor fat little Laferté falls into a snooze too, after giving
Barty just the same commission--to nudge him directly he's found out
from the _chaire_.

8.55.--Intense silence; everybody hard at work. Even Bonzig is
satisfied with the deep stillness and studious _recueillement_ that
brood over the scene--steady pens going--quick turning over of
leaves of the Gradus ad Parnassum. Suddenly Barty sticks out his
elbows and nudges both his neighbors at once, and both jump up,
exclaiming, in a loud voice:

"Non, m'sieur, je n'dors pas. J'travaille."

Sensation. Even Bonzig laughs--and Barty is happy for a week.

Or else, again--a new usher, Monsieur Goupillon (from Gascony) is on
duty in the school-room during afternoon school. He has a peculiar
way of saying "_oê, vô!_" instead of "_oui, vous!_" to any boy who
says "moi, m'sieur?" on being found fault with; and perceiving this,
Barty manages to be found fault with every five minutes, and always
says "moi, m'sieur?" so as to elicit the "_oê, vô!_" that gives him
such delight.

At length M. Goupillon says,

"Josselin, if you force me to say '_oê, vô!_' to you once more, you
shall be _à la retenue_ for a week!"

"Moi, m'sieur?" says Josselin, quite innocently.

"_Oê, vô!_" shouts M. Goupillon, glaring with all his might, but
quite unconscious that Barty has earned the threatened punishment!
And again Barty is happy for a week. And so are we.

Such was Barty's humor, as a boy--mere drivel--but of such a kind
that even his butts were fond of him. He would make M. Bonzig laugh
in the middle of his severest penal sentences, and thus demoralize
the whole school-room and set a shocking example, and be ordered _à
la porte_ of the salle d'études--an exile which was quite to his
taste; for he would go straight off to the lingerie and entertain
Mlle. Marceline and Constance and Félicité (who all three adored
him) with comic songs and break-downs of his own invention, and
imitations of everybody in the school. He was a born histrion--a
kind of French Arthur Roberts--but very beautiful to the female eye,
and also always dear to the female heart--a most delightful gift of

Then he was constantly being sent for when boys' friends and parents
came to see them, that he might sing and play the fool and show off
his tricks, and so forth. It was one of M. Mérovée's greatest
delights to put him through his paces. The message "on demande
Monsieur Josselin au parloir" would be brought down once or twice a
week, sometimes even in class or school room, and became quite a
by-word in the school; and many of the masters thought it a mistake
and a pity. But Barty by no means disliked being made much of and
showing off in this genial manner.

He could turn le père Brossard round his little finger, and Mérovée
too. Whenever an extra holiday was to be begged for, or a favor
obtained for any one, or the severity of a _pensum_ mitigated, Barty
was the messenger, and seldom failed.

His constitution, inherited from a long line of frugal seafaring
Norman ancestors (not to mention another long line of well-fed,
well-bred Yorkshire Squires), was magnificent. His spirits never
failed. He could see the satellites of Jupiter with the naked eye;
this was often tested by M. Dumollard, maître de mathématiques (et
de cosmographie), who had a telescope, which, with a little
good-will on the gazer's part, made Jupiter look as big as the moon,
and its moons like stars of the first magnitude.

His sense of hearing was also exceptionally keen. He could hear a
watch tick in the next room, and perceive very high sounds to which
ordinary human ears are deaf (this was found out later); and when we
played blind-man's-buff on a rainy day, he could, blindfolded, tell
every boy he caught hold of--not by feeling him all over like the
rest of us, but by the mere smell of his hair, or his hands, or his
blouse! No wonder he was so much more alive than the rest of us!
According to the amiable, modest, polite, delicately humorous, and
even tolerant and considerate Professor Max Nordau, this perfection
of the olfactory sense proclaims poor Barty a degenerate! I only
wish there were a few more like him, and that I were a little more
like him myself!

By-the-way, how proud young Germany must feel of its enlightened
Max, and how fond of him, to be sure! Mes compliments!

But the most astounding thing of all (it seems incredible, but all
the world knows it by this time, and it will be accounted for later
on) is that at certain times and seasons Barty knew by an infallible
instinct _where the north was_, to a point. Most of my readers will
remember his extraordinary evidence as a witness in the "Rangoon"
trial, and how this power was tested in open court, and how
important were the issues involved, and how he refused to give any
explanation of a gift so extraordinary.

It was often tried at school by blindfolding him, and turning him
round and round till he was giddy, and asking him to point out where
the north pole was, or the north star, and seven or eight times out
of ten the answer was unerringly right. When he failed, he knew
beforehand that for the time being he had lost the power, but could
never say why. Little Doctor Larcher could never get over his
surprise at this strange phenomenon, nor explain it, and often
brought some scientific friend from Paris to test it, who was
equally nonplussed.

When cross-examined, Barty would merely say:

"Quelquefois je sais--quelquefois je ne sais pas--mais quand je
sais, je sais, et il n'y a pas à s'y tromper!"

Indeed, on one occasion that I remember well, a very strange thing
happened; he not only pointed out the north with absolute accuracy,
as he stood carefully blindfolded in the gymnastic ground, after
having been turned and twisted again and again--but, still
blindfolded, he vaulted the wire fence and ran round to the
refectory door which served as the home at rounders, all of us
following; and there he danced a surprising dance of his own
invention, that he called "La Paladine," the most humorously
graceful and grotesque exhibition I ever saw; and then, taking a
ball out of his pocket, he shouted: "À l'amandier!" and threw the
ball. Straight and swift it flew, and hit the almond-tree, which was
quite twenty yards off; and after this he ran round the yard from
base to base, as at "la balle au camp," till he reached the camp

"If ever he goes blind," said the wondering M. Mérovée, "he'll never
need a dog to lead him about."

"He must have some special friend above!" said Madame Germain
(Méroveé's sister, who was looking on).

_Prophetic words!_ I have never forgotten them, nor the tear that
glistened in each of her kind eyes as she spoke. She was a deeply
religious and very emotional person, and loved Barty almost as if he
were a child of her own.

Such women have strange intuitions.

Barty was often asked to repeat this astonishing performance before
sceptical people--parents of boys, visitors, etc.--who had been told
of it, and who believed he could not have been properly blindfolded;
but he could never be induced to do so.

There was no mistake about the blindfolding--I helped in it myself;
and he afterwards told me the whole thing was "aussi simple que
bonjour" if once he felt the north--for then, with his back to the
refectory door, he knew exactly the position and distance of every
tree from where he was.

"It's all nonsense about my going blind and being able to do without
a dog"--he added; "I should be just as helpless as any other blind
man, unless I was in a place I knew as well as my own pocket--like
this play-ground! Besides, _I_ sha'n't go blind; nothing will ever
happen to _my_ eyes--they're the strongest and best in the whole

He said this exultingly, dilating his nostrils and chest; and looked
proudly up and around, like Ajax defying the lightning.

"But what _do_ you feel when you feel the north, Barty--a kind of
tingling?" I asked.

"Oh--I feel where it is--as if I'd got a mariner's compass trembling
inside my stomach--and as if I wasn't afraid of anybody or anything
in the world--as if I could go and have my head chopped off and not
care a fig."

"Ah, well--I can't make it out--I give it up," I exclaimed.

"So do I," exclaims Barty.

"But tell me, Barty," I whispered, "_have_ you--have you _really_
got a--a--_special friend above?_"

"Ask no questions and you'll get no lies," said Barty,
and winked at me one eye after the other--and went
about his business. And I about mine.

Thus it is hardly to be wondered at that the spirit of this
extraordinary boy seemed to pervade the Pension F. Brossard, almost
from the day he came to the day he left it--a slender stripling over
six feet high, beautiful as Apollo but, alas! without his degree,
and not an incipient hair on his lip or chin!

Of course the boy had his faults. He had a tremendous appetite, and
was rather greedy--so was I, for that matter--and we were good
customers to la mère Jaurion; especially he, for he always had lots
of pocket-money, and was fond of standing treat all round. Yet,
strange to say, he had such a loathing of meat that soon by special
favoritism a separate dish of eggs and milk and succulent vegetables
was cooked expressly for him--a savory mess that made all our mouths
water merely to see and smell it, and filled us with envy, it was so
good. Aglaé the cook took care of that!

"C'était pour Monsieur Josselin!"

And of this he would eat as much as three ordinary boys could eat of
anything in the world.

Then he was quick-tempered and impulsive, and in frequent fights--in
which he generally came off second best; for he was fond of fighting
with bigger boys than himself. Victor or vanquished, he never bore
malice--nor woke it in others, which is worse. But he would slap a
face almost as soon as look at it, on rather slight provocation, I'm
afraid--especially if it were an inch or two higher up than his own.
And he was fond of showing off, and always wanted to throw farther
and jump higher and run faster than any one else. Not, indeed, that
he ever wished to _mentally_ excel, or particularly admired those
who did!

Also, he was apt to judge folk too much by their mere outward
appearance and manner, and not very fond of dull, ugly, commonplace
people--the very people, unfortunately, who were fondest of him; he
really detested them, almost as much as they detest each other, in
spite of many sterling qualities of the heart and head they
sometimes possess. And yet he was their victim through life--for he
was very soft, and never had the heart to snub the deadliest bores
he ever writhed under, even undeserving ones! Like ----, or ----, or
the Bishop of ----, or Lord Justice ----, or General ----, or
Admiral ----, or the Duke of ----, etc., etc.

And he very unjustly disliked people of the bourgeois type--the
respectable middle class, _quorum pars magna fui_! Especially if we
were very well off and successful, and thought ourselves of some
consequence (as we now very often are, I beg to say), and showed it
(as, I'm afraid, we sometimes do). He preferred the commonest
artisan to M. Jourdain, the bourgeois gentilhomme, who was a very
decent fellow, after all, and at least clean in his habits, and
didn't use bad language or beat his wife!

Poor dear Barty! what would have become of all those priceless
copyrights and royalties and what not if his old school-fellow
hadn't been a man of business? And where would Barty himself have
been without his wife, who came from that very class?

And his admiration for an extremely good-looking person, even of his
own sex, even a scavenger or a dustman, was almost snobbish. It was
like a well-bred, well-educated Englishman's frank fondness for a
noble lord.

And next to physical beauty he admired great physical strength; and
I sometimes think that it is to my possession of this single gift I
owe some of the warm friendship I feel sure he always bore me; for
though he was a strong man, and topped me by an inch or two, I was
stronger still--as a cart-horse is stronger than a racer.

For his own personal appearance, of which he always took the
greatest care, he had a naïve admiration that he did not disguise.
His candor in this respect was comical; yet, strange to say, he was
really without vanity.

When he was in the Guards he would tell you quite frankly he was
"the handsomest chap in all the Household Brigade, bar three"--just
as he would tell you he was twenty last birthday. And the fun of it
was that the three exceptions he was good enough to make, splendid
fellows as they were, seemed as satyrs to Hyperion when compared
with Barty Josselin. One (F. Pepys) was three or four inches taller,
it is true, being six foot seven or eight--a giant. The two others
had immense whiskers, which Barty openly envied, but could not
emulate--and the mustache with which he would have been quite
decently endowed in time was not permitted in an infantry regiment.

To return to the Pension Brossard, and Barty the school-boy:

He adored Monsieur Mérovée because he was big and strong and
handsome--not because he was one of the best fellows that ever
lived. He disliked Monsieur Durosier, whom we were all so fond of,
because he had a slight squint and a receding chin.

As for the Anglophobe, Monsieur Dumollard, who made no secret of his
hatred and contempt for perfidious Albion....

"Dis donc, Josselin!" says Maurice, in English or French, as the
case might be, "why don't you like Monsieur Dumollard? Eh? He always
favors you more than any other chap in the school. I suppose you
dislike him because he hates the English so, and always runs them
down before you and me--and says they're all traitors and sneaks and
hypocrites and bullies and cowards and liars and snobs; and we can't
answer him, because he's the mathematical master!"

"Ma foi, non!" says Josselin--"c'est pas pour ça!"

"Pourquoi, alors?" says Maurice (that's me).

"C'est parce qu'il a le pied bourgeois et la jambe canaille!" says
Barty. (It's because he's got common legs and vulgar feet.)

And that's about the lowest and meanest thing I ever heard him say
in his life.

Also, he was not always very sympathetic, as a boy, when one was
sick or sorry or out of sorts, for he had never been ill in his
life, never known an ache or a pain--except once the mumps, which he
seemed to thoroughly enjoy--and couldn't realize suffering of any
kind, except such suffering as most school-boys all over the world
are often fond of inflicting on dumb animals: this drove him
frantic, and led to many a licking by bigger boys. I remember
several such scenes--one especially.

One frosty morning in January, '48, just after breakfast, Jolivet
trois (tertius) put a sparrow into his squirrel's cage, and the
squirrel caught it in its claws, and cracked its skull like a nut
and sucked its brain, while the poor bird still made a desperate
struggle for life, and there was much laughter.

There was also, in consequence, a quick fight between Jolivet and
Josselin; in which Barty got the worst, as usual--his foe was two
years older, and quite an inch taller.

Afterwards, as the licked one sat on the edge of a small stone tank
full of water and dabbed his swollen eye with a wet pocket-handkerchief,
M. Dumollard, the mathematical master, made cheap fun of Britannic
sentimentality about animals, and told us how the English noblesse were
privileged to beat their wives with sticks no thicker than their ankles,
and sell them "_au rabais_" in the horse-market of Smissfeld; and that
they paid men to box each other to death on the stage of Drury Lane, and
all that--deplorable things that we all know and are sorry for and
ashamed, but cannot put a stop to.

The boys laughed, of course; they always did when Dumollard tried to
be funny, "and many a joke had he," although his wit never
degenerated into mere humor.

But they were so fond of Barty that they forgave him his insular
affectation; some even helped him to dab his sore eye; among them
Jolivet trois himself, who was a very good-natured chap, and very
good-looking into the bargain; and he had received from Barty a sore
eye too--_gallicè_, "un pochon"--_scholasticè_, "un oeil au beurre

By-the-way, _I_ fought with Jolivet once--about Æsop's fables! He
said that Æsop was a lame poet of Lacedæmon--I, that Æsop was a
little hunchback Armenian Jew; and I stuck to it. It was a Sunday
afternoon, on the terrace by the lingerie.

He kicked as hard as he could, so I had to kick too. Mlle. Marceline
ran out with Constance and Félicité and tried to separate us, and
got kicked by both (unintentionally, of course). Then up came Père
Jaurion and kicked _me_! And they all took Jolivet's part, and said
I was in the wrong, because I was English! What did _they_ know
about Æsop! So we made it up, and went in Jaurion's loge and stood
each other a blomboudingue on tick--and called Jaurion bad names.

"Comme c'est bête, de s'battre, hein?" said Jolivet, and I agreed
with him. I don't know which of us really got the worst of it, for
we hadn't disfigured each other in the least--and that's the best of
kicking. Anyhow he was two years older than I, and three or four
inches taller; so I'm glad, on the whole, that that small battle was

It is really not for brag that I have lugged in this story--at
least, I hope not. One never quite knows.

To go back to Barty: he was the most generous boy in the school. If
I may paraphrase an old saying, he really didn't seem to know the
difference betwixt tuum et meum. Everything he had, books, clothes,
pocket-money--even agate marbles, those priceless possessions to a
French school-boy--seemed to be also everybody else's who chose. I
came across a very characteristic letter of his the other day,
written from the Pension Brossard to his favorite aunt, Lady
Caroline Grey (one of the Rohans), who adored him. It begins:

   "My Dear Aunt Caroline,--Thank you so much for the
    magnifying-glass, which is not only magnifying, but magnifique.
    Don't trouble to send any more gingerbread-nuts, as the boys are
    getting rather tired of them, especially Laferté and
    Bussy-Rabutin. I think we should all like some Scotch
    marmalade," etc., etc.

And though fond of romancing a little now and then, and embellishing
a good story, he was absolutely truthful in important matters, and
to be relied upon implicitly.

He seemed also to be quite without the sense of physical fear--a
kind of callousness.

Such, roughly, was the boy who lived to write the _Motes in a
Moonbeam_ and _La quatrième Dimension_ before he was thirty; and
such, roughly, he remained through life, except for one thing: he
grew to be the very soul of passionate and compassionate sympathy,
as who doesn't feel who has ever read a page of his work, or even
had speech with him for half an hour?

Whatever weaknesses he yielded to when he grew to man's estate are
such as the world only too readily condones in many a famous man
less tempted than Josselin was inevitably bound to be through life.
Men of the Josselin type (there are not many--he stands pretty much
alone) can scarcely be expected to journey from adolescence to
middle age with that impeccable decorum which I--and no doubt many
of my masculine readers--have found it so easy to achieve, and find
it now so pleasant to remember and get credit for. Let us think of
_The Footprints of Aurora_, or _Étoiles mortes_, or _Déjanire et
Dalila_, or even _Les Trépassées de François Villon!_

Then let us look at Rajon's etching of Watts's portrait of him (the
original is my own to look at whenever I like, and that is pretty
often). And then let us not throw too many big stones, or too hard,
at Barty Josselin.

Well, the summer term of 1847 wore smoothly to its close--a happy
"trimestre" during which the Institution F. Brossard reached the
high-water mark of its prosperity.

There were sixty boys to be taught, and six house-masters to teach
them, besides a few highly paid outsiders for special classes--such
as the lively M. Durosier for French literature, and M. le
Professeur Martineau for the higher mathematics, and so forth; and
crammers and coachers for St.-Cyr, the Polytechnic School, the École
des Ponts et Chaussées.

Also fencing-masters, gymnastic masters, a Dutch master who taught
us German and Italian--an Irish master with a lovely brogue who
taught us English. Shall I ever forget the blessed day when ten or
twelve of us were presented with an _Ivanhoe_ apiece as a
class-book, or how Barty and I and Bonneville (who knew English)
devoured the immortal story in less than a week--to the disgust of
Rapaud, who refused to believe that we could possibly know such a
beastly tongue as English well enough to read an English book for
mere pleasure--on our desks in play-time, or on our laps in school,
_en cachette_! "Quelle sacrée pose!"

He soon mislaid his own copy, did Rapaud; just as he mislaid my
_Monte Cristo_ and Jolivet's illustrated _Wandering Jew_--and it was

"Dis donc, Maurice!--prête-moi ton _Ivanhoé_!" (with an accent on
the e), whenever he had to construe his twenty lines of Valtère
Scott--and what a hash he made of them!

Sometimes M. Brossard himself would come, smoking his big
meerschaum, and help the English class during preparation, and put
us up to a thing or two worth knowing.

"Rapaud, comment dit-on '_pouvoir_' en anglais?"

"Sais pas, m'sieur!"

"Comment, petit crétin, tu ne sais pas!"

And Rapaud would receive a _pincée tordue_--a "twisted pinch"--on
the back of his arm to quicken his memory.

"Oh, là, là!" he would howl--"je n' sais pas!"

"Et toi, Maurice?"

"Ça se dit '_to be able_,' m'sieur!" I would say.

"Mais non, mon ami--tu oublies ta langue natale--ça se dit, '_to
can_'! Maintenant, comment dirais-tu en anglais, '_je voudrais

"Je dirais, '_I would like to be able._'"

"Comment, encore! petit cancre! allons--tu es Anglais--tu sais bien
que tu dirais, '_I vould vill to can_'!"

Then M. Brossard turns to Barty: "A ton tour, Josselin!"

"Moi, m'sieur?" says Barty.

"Oui, toi!--comment dirais-tu, '_je pourrais vouloir_'?"

"Je dirais '_I vould can to vill_,'" says Barty, quite unabashed.

"À la bonne heure! au moins tu sais ta langue, toi!" says Père
Brossard, and pats him on the cheek; while Barty winks at me, the
wink of successful time-serving hypocrisy, and Bonneville writhes
with suppressed delight.

What lives most in my remembrance of that summer is the lovely
weather we had, and the joy of the Passy swimming-bath every
Thursday and Sunday from two till five or six; it comes back to me
even now in heavenly dreams by night. I swim with giant side-strokes
all round the Île des Cygnes between Passy and Grenelle, where the
École de Natation was moored for the summer months.

Round and round the isle I go, up stream and down, and dive and
float and wallow with bliss there is no telling--till the waters all
dry up and disappear, and I am left wading in weeds and mud and
drift and drought and desolation, and wake up shivering--and such is

As for Barty, he was all but amphibious, and reminded me of the seal
at the Jardin des Plantes. He really seemed to spend most of the
afternoon under water, coming up to breathe now and then at
unexpected moments, with a stone in his mouth that he had picked up
from the slimy bottom ten or twelve feet below--or a weed--or a
dead mussel.

Part Second

    "Laissons les regrets et les pleurs
           À la vieillesse;
     Jeunes, il faut cueillir les fleurs
           De la jeunesse!"--Baïf.

Sometimes we spent the Sunday morning in Paris, Barty and I--in
picture-galleries and museums and wax-figure shows, churches and
cemeteries, and the Hôtel Cluny and the Baths of Julian the
Apostate--or the Jardin des Plantes, or the Morgue, or the knackers'
yards at Montfaucon--or lovely slums. Then a swim at the Bains
Deligny. Then lunch at some restaurant on the Quai Voltaire, or in
the Quartier Latin. Then to some café on the Boulevards, drinking
our demi-tasse and our chasse-café, and smoking our cigarettes like
men, and picking our teeth like gentlemen of France.

Once after lunch at Vachette's with Berquin (who was seventeen) and
Bonneville (the marquis who had got an English mother), we were
sitting outside the Café des Variétés, in the midst of a crowd of
consommateurs, and tasting to the full the joy of being alive, when
a poor woman came up with a guitar, and tried to sing "Le petit
mousse noir," a song Barty knew quite well--but she couldn't sing a
bit, and nobody listened.

"Allons, Josselin, chante-nous ça!" said Berquin.

And Bonneville jumped up, and took the woman's guitar from her, and
forced it into Josselin's hands, while the crowd became much
interested and began to applaud.

Thus encouraged, Barty, who never in all his life knew what it is to
be shy, stood up and piped away like a bird; and when he had
finished the story of the little black cabin-boy who sings in the
maintop halliards, the applause was so tremendous that he had to
stand up on a chair and sing another, and yet another.

"Écoute-moi bien, ma Fleurette!" and "Amis, la matinée est belle!"
(from _La Muette de Portici_), while the pavement outside the
Variétés was rendered quite impassable by the crowd that had
gathered round to look and listen--and who all joined in the chorus:

    "Conduis ta barque avec prudence,
       Pêcheur! parle bas!
     Jette tes filets en silence
       Pêcheur! parle bas!
     Et le roi des mers ne nous échappera pas!" (_bis_).

and the applause was deafening.

Meanwhile Bonneville and Berquin went round with the hat and
gathered quite a considerable sum, in which there seemed to be
almost as much silver as copper--and actually _two five-franc pieces
and an English half-sovereign_! The poor woman wept with gratitude
at coming into such a fortune, and insisted on kissing Barty's hand.
Indeed it was a quite wonderful ovation, considering how
unmistakably British was Barty's appearance, and how unpopular we
were in France just then!

[Illustration: "AMIS, LA MATINÉE EST BELLE"]

He had his new shiny black silk chimney-pot hat on, and his Eton
jacket, with the wide shirt collar. Berquin, in a tightly fitting
double-breasted brown cloth swallow-tailed coat with brass buttons,
yellow nankin bell-mouthed trousers strapped over varnished boots,
butter-colored gloves, a blue satin stock, and a very tall hairy hat
with a wide curly brim, looked such an out-and-out young gentleman of
France that we were all proud of being seen in his company--especially
young de Bonneville, who was still in mourning for his father and wore a
crape band round his arm, and a common cloth cap with a leather peak,
and thick blucher boots; though he was quite sixteen, and already had a
little black mustache like an eyebrow, and inhaled the smoke of his
cigarette without coughing and quite naturally, and ordered the waiters
about just as if he already wore the uniform of the École St.-Cyr, for
which he destined himself (and was not disappointed. He should be a
marshal of France by now--perhaps he is).

Then we went to the Café Mulhouse on the Boulevard des Italiens (on
the "_Boul. des It._," as we called it, to be in the fashion)--that
we might gaze at Señor Joaquin Eliezegui, the Spanish giant, who was
eight feet high and a trifle over (or under--I forget which): he
told us himself. Barty had a passion for gazing at very tall men;
like Frederic the Great (or was it his Majesty's royal father?).

Then we went to the Boulevard Bonne-Nouvelle, where, in a painted wooden
shed, a most beautiful Circassian slave, miraculously rescued from some
abominable seraglio in Constantinople, sold pen'orths of "galette du
gymnase." On her raven hair she wore a silk turban all over sequins,
silver and gold, with a yashmak that fell down behind, leaving her
adorable face exposed: she had an amber vest of silk, embroidered with
pearls as big as walnuts, and Turkish pantalettes--what her slippers
were we couldn't see, but they must have been lovely, like all the rest
of her. Barty had a passion for gazing at very beautiful female
faces--like his father before him.

There was a regular queue of postulants to see this heavenly Eastern
houri and buy her confection, which is very like Scotch butter-cake,
but not so digestible; and even more filling at the price. And three
of us sat on a bench, while three times running Barty took his place
in that procession--soldiers, sailors, workmen, chiffonniers, people
of all sorts, women as many as men--all of them hungry for galette,
but hungrier still for a good humanizing stare at a beautiful female
face; and he made the slow and toilsome journey to the little wooden
booth three times--and brought us each a pen'orth on each return
journey; and the third time, Katidjah (such was her sweet Oriental
name) leaned forward over her counter and kissed him on both cheeks,
and whispered in his ear (in English--and with the accent of

"You little _duck_! _your_ name is _Brown_, _I_ know!"

And he came away, his face pale with conflicting emotions, and told

How excited we were! Bonneville (who spoke English quite well) went
for a pen'orth on his own account, and said: "My name's Brown too,
Miss Katidjah!" But he didn't get a kiss.

(She soon after married a Mr. ----, of ----, the well-known ----
Of ----shire, in ----land. She may be alive now.)

Then to the Palais Royal, to dine at the "Dîner Européen" with M.
Berquin père, a famous engineer; and finally to stalls at the
"Français" to see the two first acts of _Le Cid_; and this was
rather an anticlimax--for we had too much "Cid" at the Institution
F. Brossard already!

And then, at last, to the omnibus station in the Rue de Rivoli,
whence the "Accélérées" (en correspondence avec les Constantines)
started for Passy every ten minutes; and thus, up the gas-lighted
Champs-Élysées, and by the Arc de Triomphe, to the Rond-point de
l'Avenue de St.-Cloud; tired out, but happy--happy--happy _comme on
ne l'est plus_!

Before the school broke up for the holidays there were very severe
examinations--but no "distribution de prix"; we were above that kind
of thing at Brossard's, just as we were above wearing a uniform or
taking in day boarders.

Barty didn't come off very well in this competition; but he came off
anyhow much better than I, who had failed to be "diligent and
attentive"--too much _Monte Cristo_, I'm afraid.

At all events Barty got five marks for English History, because he
remembered a good deal about Richard Coeur de Lion, and John, and
Friar Tuck, and Robin Hood, and especially one Cedric the Saxon, a
historical personage of whom the examiner (a decorated gentleman
from the Collège de France) had never even heard!

       *       *       *       *       *

And then (to the tune of "Au clair de la lune"):

    "Vivent les vacances--
       _Denique tandèm_;
     Et les pénitences--
       _Habebunt finèm_!
     Les pions intraitables,
       _Vultu Barbarò_,
     S'en iront aux diables,
       _Gaudio nostrò_."

N.B.--The accent is always on the last syllable in French Latin--and
_pion_ means an usher.


Barty went to Yorkshire with the Rohans, and I spent most of my holidays
with my mother and sister (and the beautiful Miss ----) at Mademoiselle
Jalabert's, next door--coming back to school for most of my meals, and
at night to sleep, with a whole dormitory to myself, and no dreadful
bell at five in the morning; and so much time to spare that I never
found any leisure for my holiday task, that skeleton at the feast; no
more did Jules, the sergeant's son; no more did Caillard, who spent his
vacation at Brossard's because his parents lived in Russia, and his
"correspondant" in Paris was ill.

The only master who remained behind was Bonzig, who passed his time
painting ships and sailors, in oil-colors; it was a passion with
him: corvettes, brigantines, British whalers, fishing-smacks,
revenue-cutters, feluccas, caïques, even Chinese junks--all was fish
that came to his net. He got them all from _La France Maritime_, an
illustrated periodical much in vogue at Brossard's; and also his
storms and his calms, his rocks and piers and light-houses--for he
had never seen the sea he was so fond of. He took us every morning
to the Passy swimming-baths, and in the afternoon for long walks in
Paris, and all about and around, and especially to the Musée de
Marine at the Louvre, that we might gaze with him at the beautiful
models of three-deckers.

He evidently pitied our forlorn condition, and told us delightful
stories about seafaring life, like Mr. Clark Russell's; and how he,
some day, hoped to see the ocean for himself before he died--and
with his own eyes.

I really don't know how Jules and Caillard would have got through
the hideous _ennui_ of that idle September without him. Even I, with
my mother and sister and the beautiful Miss ---- within such easy
reach, found time hang heavily at times. One can't be always
reading, even Alexandre Dumas; nor always loafing about, even in
Paris, by one's self (Jules and Caillard were not allowed outside
the gates without Bonzig); and beautiful English girls of eighteen,
like Miss ----s, don't always want a small boy dangling after them,
and show it sometimes; which I thought very hard.

It was almost a relief when school began again in October, and the
boys came back with their wonderful stories of the good time they
had all had (especially some of the big boys, who were "en
rhétorique et en philosophie")--and all the game that had fallen to
their guns--wild-boars, roebucks, cerfs-dix-cors, and what not; of
perilous swims in stormy seas--tremendous adventures in
fishing-smacks on moonlight nights (it seemed that the moon had been
at the full all through those wonderful six weeks); rides _ventre à
terre_ on mettlesome Arab steeds through gloomy wolf-haunted forests
with charming female cousins; flirtations and "good fortunes" with
beautiful but not happily married women in old mediæval castle
keeps. Toujours au clair de la lune! They didn't believe each other
in the least, these gay young romancers--nor expect to be believed
themselves; but it was very exciting all the same; and they
listened, and were listened to in turn, without a gesture of
incredulity--nor even a smile! And we small boys held our tongues in
reverence and awe.

When Josselin came back he had wondrous things to tell too--but so
preposterous that they disbelieved him quite openly, and told him
so. How in London he had seen a poor woman so tipsy in the street
that she had to be carried away by two policemen on a stretcher. How
he had seen brewers' dray-horses nearly six feet high at the
shoulder--and one or two of them with a heavy cavalry mustache
drooping from its upper lip.

How he had been presented to the Lord Mayor of London, and even
shaken hands with him, in Leadenhall Market, and that his Lordship
was quite plainly dressed; and how English Lord Mayors were not
necessarily "hommes du monde," nor always hand in glove with Queen

Splendide mendax!

But they forgave him all his mendacity for the sake of a new
accomplishment he had brought back with him, and which beat all his
others. He could actually turn a somersault backwards with all the
ease and finish of a professional acrobat. How he got to do this I
don't know. It must have been natural to him and he never found it
out before; he was always good at gymnastics--and all things that
required grace and agility more than absolute strength.

Also he brought back with him (from Leadenhall Market, no doubt) a
gigantic horned owl, fairly tame--and with eyes that reminded us of
le grand Bonzig's.

School began, and with it the long evenings with an hour's play by
lamp-light in the warm salle d'études; and the cold lamp-lit ninety
minutes' preparation on an empty stomach, after the short
perfunctory morning prayer--which didn't differ much from the
evening one.

Barty was still _en cinquième_, at the top! and I at the tail of the
class immediately above--so near and yet so far! so I did not have
many chances of improving my acquaintance with him that term; for he
still stuck to Laferté and Bussy-Rabutin--they were inseparable,
those three.

At mid-day play-time the weather was too cold for anything but
games, which were endless in their variety and excitement; it would
take a chapter to describe them.

It is a mistake to think that French school-boys are (or were) worse
off than ours in this. I will not say that any one French game is
quite so good as cricket or football for a permanency. But I
remember a great many that are very nearly so.

Indeed, French rounders (la balle au camp) seems to me the best game
that ever was--on account of the quick rush and struggle of the
fielders to get home when an inside boy is hit between the bases,
lest he should pick the ball up in time to hit one of them with it
before the camp is reached; in which case there is a most exciting
scrimmage for the ball, etc., etc.

Barty was good at all games, especially la balle au camp. I used to
envy the graceful, easy way he threw the ball--so quick and straight
it seemed to have no curve at all in its trajectory: and how it
bounded off the boy it nearly always hit between the shoulders!

At evening, play in the school-room, besides draughts and chess and
backgammon; M. Bonzig, when _de service_, would tell us thrilling
stories, with "la suite au prochain numéro" when the bell rang at 7.30;
a long series that lasted through the winter of '47-'48. _Le Tueur de
Daims_, _Le Lac Ontario_, _Le Dernier des Mohicans_, _Les Pionniers_,
_La Prairie_--by one Fénimore Coupère; all of which he had read in M.
Defauconpret's admirable translations. I have read some of them in their
native American since then, myself. I loved them always--but they seemed
to lack some of the terror, the freshness, and the charm his fluent
utterance and solemn nasal voice put into them as he sat and smoked his
endless cigarettes with his back against the big stone stove, and his
eyes dancing sideways through his glasses. Never did that
"ding-dang-dong" sound more hateful than when le grand Bonzig was
telling the tale of Bas-de-cuir's doings, from his innocent youth to his
noble and Pathetic death by sunset, with his ever-faithful and
still-serviceable but no longer deadly rifle (the friend of sixty years)
lying across his knees. I quote from memory; what a gun that was!

Then on Thursdays, long walks, two by two, in Paris, with Bonzig or
Dumollard; or else in the Bois to play rounders or prisoners' base
in a clearing, or skate on the Mare aux Biches, which was always so
hard to find in the dense thicket ... poor Lord Runswick! _He_ found
it once too often!

La Mare d'Auteuil was too deep, and too popular with "la flotte de
Passy," as we called the Passy voyous, big and small, who came there
in their hundreds--to slide and pick up quarrels with well-dressed
and respectable school-boys. Liberté--égalité--fraternité! ou la
mort! Vive la république! (This, by-the-way, applies to the winter
that came _next_.)

So time wore on with us gently; through the short vacation at
New-year's day till the 23d or 24th of February, when the Revolution
broke out, and Louis Philippe premier had to fly for his life. It
was a very troublous time, and the school for a whole week was in a
state of quite heavenly demoralization! Ten times a day, or in the
dead of night, the drum would beat _le rappel_ or _la générale_. A
warm wet wind was blowing--the most violent wind I can remember that
was not an absolute gale. It didn't rain, but the clouds hurried
across the sky all day long, and the tops of the trees tried to bend
themselves in two; and their leafless boughs and black broken twigs
littered the deserted playground--for we all sat on the parapet of
the terrace by the lingerie; boys and servants, le père et la mere
Jaurion, Mlle. Marceline and the rest, looking towards Paris--all
feeling bound to each other by a common danger, like wild beasts in
a flood. Dear me! I'm out of breath from sheer pleasure in the

One night we had to sleep on the floor for fear of stray bullets;
and that was a fearful joy never to be forgotten--it almost kept us
awake! Peering out of the school-room windows at dusk, we saw great
fires, three or four at a time. Suburban retreats of the
over-wealthy, in full conflagration; and all day the rattle of
distant musketry and the boom of cannon a long way off, near
Montmartre and Montfaucon, kept us alive.

Most of the boys went home, and some of them never came back--and
from that day the school began to slowly decline. Père Brossard--an
ancient "Brigand de la Loire," as the republicans of his youth were
called--was elected a representative of his native town at the
Chamber of Deputies; and possibly that did the school more harm than
good--ne sutor ultra crepidam! as he was so fond of impressing on

However, we went on pretty much as usual through spring and
summer--with occasional alarms (which we loved), and beatings of _le
rappel_--till the July insurrection broke out.

My mother and sister had left Mlle. Jalabert's, and now lived with
my father near the Boulevard Montmartre. And when the fighting was
at its height they came to fetch me home, and invited Barty, for the
Rohans were away from Paris. So home we walked, quite leisurely, on
a lovely peaceful summer evening, while the muskets rattled and the
cannons roared round us, but at a proper distance; women picking
linen for lint and chatting genially the while at shop doors and
porter's lodge-gates; and a piquet of soldiers at the corner of
every street, who felt us all over for hidden cartridges before they
let us through; it was all entrancing! The subtle scent of gunpowder
was in the air--the most suggestive smell there can be. Even now,
here in England, the night of the fifth of November never comes
round but I am pleasantly reminded of the days when I was "en pleine
révolution" in the streets of Paris with my father and mother, and
Barty and my little sister--and genial _piou-pious_ made such a
Conscientious examination of our garments. Nothing brings back the
past like a sound or a smell--even those of a penny squib!

Every now and then a litter borne by soldiers came by, on which lay
a dead or wounded officer. And then one's laugh died suddenly out,
and one felt one's self face to face with the horrors that were
going on.

Barty shared my bed, and we lay awake talking half the night;
dreadful as it all was, one couldn't help being jolly! Every ten
minutes the sentinel on duty in the court-yard below would
sententiously intone:

"Sentinelles, prenez-garde à vous!" And other sentinels would repeat
the cry till it died away in the distance, like an echo.

And all next day, or the day after--or else the day after that, when
the long rattle of the musketry had left off--we heard at intervals
the "feu de peloton" in a field behind the church of St.-Vincent de
Paul, and knew that at every discharge a dozen poor devils of
insurgents, caught red-handed, fell dead in a pool of blood!

I need hardly say that before three days were over the irrepressible
Barty had made a complete conquest of my small family. My sister (I
hasten to say this) has loved him as a brother ever since; and as
long as my parents lived, and wherever they made their home, that
home has ever been his--and he has been their son--almost their
eldest born, though he was younger than I by seven months.

Things have been reversed, however, for now thirty years and more;
and his has ever been the home for me, and his people have been my
people, and ever will be--and the God of his worship mine!

What children and grandchildren of my own could ever be to me as
these of Barty Josselin's?

"Ce sacré Josselin--il avait tous les talents!"

And the happiest of these gifts, and not the least important, was
the gift he had of imparting to his offspring all that was most
brilliant and amiable and attractive in himself, and leaving in them
unimpaired all that was strongest and best in the woman I loved as
well as he did, and have loved as long--and have grown to look upon
as belonging to the highest female type that can be; for doubtless
the Creator, in His infinite wisdom, might have created a better and
a nicer woman than Mrs. Barty Josselin that was to be, had He
thought fit to do so; but doubtless also He never did.

Alas! the worst of us is that the best of us are those that want the
longest knowing to find it out.

My kind-hearted but cold-mannered and undemonstrative Scotch father,
evangelical, a total abstainer, with a horror of tobacco--surely the
austerest dealer in French wines that ever was--a puritanical hater
of bar sinisters, and profligacy, and Rome, and rank, and the army,
and especially the stage--he always lumped them together more or
less--a despiser of all things French, except their wines, which he
never drank himself--remained devoted to Barty till the day of his
death; and so with my dear genial mother, whose heart yet always
yearned towards serious boys who worked hard at school and college,
and passed brilliant examinations, and got scholarships and
fellowships in England, and state sinecures in France, and married
early, and let their mothers choose their wives for them, and train
up their children in the way they should go. She had lived so long
in France that she was Frencher than the French themselves.

And they both loved good music--Mozart, Bach, Beethoven--and were
almost priggish in their contempt for anything of a lighter kind;
especially with a lightness English or French! It was only the
musical lightness of Germany they could endure at all! But whether
in Paris or London, enter Barty Josselin, idle school-boy, or dandy
dissipated guardsman, and fashionable man about town, or bohemian
art student; and Bach, lebewohl! good-bye, Beethoven! bonsoir le bon
Mozart! all was changed: and welcome, instead, the last comic song
from the Château des Fleurs, or Evans's in Covent Garden; the latest
patriotic or sentimental ditty by Loïsa Puget, or Frédéric Bérat, or
Eliza Cook, or Mr. Henry Russell.

And then, what would Barty like for breakfast, dinner, supper after
the play, and which of all those burgundies would do Barty good
without giving him a headache next morning? and where was Barty to
have his smoke?--in the library, of course. "Light the fire in the
library, Mary; and Mr. Bob [that was me] can smoke there, too,
instead of going outside," etc., etc., etc. It is small wonder that
he grew a bit selfish at times.

Though I was a little joyous now and then, it is quite without a
shadow of bitterness or envy that I write all this. I have lived for
fifty years under the charm of that genial, unconscious,
irresistible tyranny; and, unlike my dear parents, I have lived to
read and know Barty Josselin, nor merely to see and hear and love
him for himself alone.

Indeed, it was quite impossible to know Barty at all intimately and
not do whatever he wanted you to do. Whatever he wanted, he wanted
so intensely, and at once; and he had such a droll and engaging way
of expressing that hurry and intensity, and especially of expressing
his gratitude and delight when what he wanted was what he got--that
you could not for the life of you hold your own! Tout vient à qui ne
sait pas attendre!

Besides which, every now and then, if things didn't go quite as he
wished, he would fly into comic rages, and become quite violent and
intractable for at least five minutes, and for quite five minutes
more he would silently sulk. And then, just as suddenly, he would
forget all about it, and become once more the genial, affectionate,
and caressing creature he always was.

But this is going ahead too fast! revenons. At the examinations this
year Barty was almost brilliant, and I was hopeless as usual; my
only consolation being that after the holidays we should at last be
in the same class together, _en quatrième_, and all through this
hopelessness of mine!

Laferté was told by his father that he might invite two of his
school-fellows to their country-house for the vacation, so he asked
Josselin and Bussy-Rabutin. But Bussy couldn't go--and, to my
delight, I went instead.

That ride all through the sweet August night, the three of us on the
impériale of the five-horsed diligence, just behind the conductor
and the driver--and freedom, and a full moon, or nearly so--and a
tremendous saucisson de Lyon (à l'ail, bound in silver paper)--and
petits pains--and six bottles of bière de Mars--and cigarettes ad
libitum, which of course we made ourselves!

The Lafertés lived in the Department of La Sarthe, in a delightful
country-house, with a large garden sloping down to a transparent
stream, which had willows and alders and poplars all along its both
banks, and a beautiful country beyond.

Outside the grounds (where there were the old brick walls, all
overgrown with peaches and pears and apricots, of some forgotten
mediæval convent) was a large farm; and close by, a water-mill that
never stopped.

A road, with thick hedge-rows on either side, led to a small and
very pretty town called La Tremblaye, three miles off. And hard by
the garden gates began the big forest of that name: one heard the
stags calling, and the owls hooting, and the fox giving tongue as it
hunted the hares at night. There might have been wolves and
wild-boars. I like to think so very much.

M. Laferté was a man of about fifty--entre les deux âges; a retired
maître de forges, or iron-master, or else the son of one: I forget
which. He had a charming wife and two pretty little daughters,
Jeanne et Marie, aged fourteen and twelve.

He seldom moved from his country home, which was called "Le Gué des
Aulnes," except to go shooting in the forest; for he was a great
sportsman and cared for little else. He was of gigantic stature--six
foot six or seven, and looked taller still, as he had a very small
head and high shoulders. He was not an Adonis, and could only see
out of one eye--the other (the left one, fortunately) was fixed as
if it were made of glass--perhaps it was--and this gave him a stern
and rather forbidding expression of face.

He had just been elected Mayor of La Tremblaye, beating the Comte de
la Tremblaye by many votes. The Comte was a royalist and not
popular. The republican M. Laferté (who was immensely charitable and
very just) was very popular indeed, in spite of a morose and gloomy
manner. He could even be violent at times, and then he was terrible
to see and hear. Of course his wife and daughters were gentleness
itself, and so was his son, and everybody who came into contact with
him. _Si vis pacem, para bellum_, as Père Brossard used to impress
upon us.

It was the strangest country household I have ever seen, in France
or anywhere else. They were evidently very well off, yet they
preferred to eat their mid-day meal in the kitchen, which was
immense; and so was the mid-day meal--and of a succulency!...

An old wolf-hound always lay by the huge log fire; often with two or
three fidgety cats fighting for the soft places on him and making
him growl; five or six other dogs, non-sporting, were always about
at meal-time.

The servants--three or four peasant women who waited on us--talked
all the time; and were _tutoyées_ by the family. Farm-laborers came
in and discussed agricultural matters, manures, etc., quite
informally, squeezing their bonnets de coton in their hands. The
postman sat by the fire and drank a glass of cider and smoked his
pipe up the chimney while the letters were read--most of them out
loud--and were commented upon by everybody in the most friendly
spirit. All this made the meal last a long time.

M. Laferté always wore his blouse--except in the evening, and then
he wore a brown woollen vareuse, or jersey; unless there were
guests, when he wore his Sunday morning best. He nearly always spoke
like a peasant, although he was really a decently educated man--or
should have been.

His old mother, who was of good family and eighty years of age
lived in a quite humble cottage in a small street in La Tremblaye,
with two little peasant girls to wait on her; and the La Tremblayes,
with whom M. Laferté was not on speaking terms, were always coming
into the village to see her and bring her fruit and flowers and
game. She was a most accomplished old lady, and an excellent
musician, and had known Monsieur de Lafayette.

We breakfasted with her when we alighted from the diligence at six
in the morning; and she took such a fancy to Barty that her own
grandson was almost forgotten. He sang to her, and she sang to him,
and showed him autograph letters of Lafayette, and a lock of her
hair when she was seventeen, and old-fashioned miniatures of her
father and mother, Monsieur and Madame de something I've quite

M. Laferté kept a pack of bassets (a kind of bow-legged beagle), and
went shooting with them every day in the forest, wet or dry;
sometimes we three boys with him. He lent us guns--an old
single-barrelled flint-lock cavalry musket or carbine fell to my
share; and I knew happiness such as I had never known yet.

Barty was evidently not meant for a sportsman. On a very warm August
morning, as he and I squatted "à l'affût" at the end of a long
straight ditch outside a thicket which the bassets were hunting, we
saw a hare running full tilt at us along the ditch, and we both
fired together. The hare shrieked, and turned a big somersault and
fell on its back and kicked convulsively--its legs still
galloping--and its face and neck were covered with blood; and, to my
astonishment, Barty became quite hysterical with grief at what we
had done. It's the only time I ever saw him cry.

"_Caïn! Caïn! qu'as-tu fait de ton frère?_" he shrieked again and
again, in a high voice, like a small child's--like the hare's.

I calmed him down and promised I wouldn't tell, and he recovered
himself and bagged the game--but he never came out shooting with us
again! So I inherited his gun, which was double-barrelled.

Barty's accomplishments soon became the principal recreation of the
Laferté ladies; and even M. Laferté himself would start for the
forest an hour or two later or come back an hour sooner to make
Barty go through his bag of tricks. He would have an arm-chair
brought out on the lawn after breakfast and light his short black
pipe and settle the programme himself.

First, "_le saut périlleux_"--the somersault backwards--over and
over again, at intervals of two or three minutes, so as to give
himself time for thought and chuckles, while he smoked his pipe in
silent stodgy jubilation.

Then, two or three songs--they would be stopped, if M. Laferté
didn't like them, after the first verse, and another one started
instead; and if it pleased him, it was encored two or three times.

Then, pen and ink and paper were brought, and a small table and a
kitchen chair, and Barty had to draw caricatures, of which M.
Laferté chose the subject.

"Maintenant, fais-moi le profil de mon vieil ami M. Bonzig, que j'
n' connais pas, que j' n'ai jamais vu, mais q' j'aime beaucoup."
(Now do me the side face of my old friend M. Bonzig, whom I don't
know, but am very fond of.)

And so on for twenty minutes.

Then Barty had to be blindfolded and twisted round and round, and
point out the north--when he felt up to it.

Then a pause for reflection.

Then: "Dis-moi qué'q' chose en anglais."

"How do you do very well hey diddle-diddle Chichester church in
Chichester church-yard!" says Barty.

"Qué'q' çà veut dire?"

"Il s'agit d'une église et d'un cimetière!" says Barty--rather
sadly, with a wink at me.

"C'est pas gai! Qué vilaine langue, hein? J' suis joliment content
que j' sais pas I'anglais, moi!" (It's not lively! What a beastly
language, eh? I'm precious glad _I_ don't know English.)

Then: "Démontre-moi un problème de géométrie."

Barty would then do a simple problem out of Legendre (the French
Euclid), and M. Laferté would look on with deep interest and
admiration, but evidently no comprehension whatever. Then he would
take the pen himself, and draw a shapeless figure, with A's and B's
and C's and D's stuck all over it in impossible places, and quite at
hazard, and say:

"Démontre-moi que A + B est plus grand que C + D." It was mere
idiotic nonsense, and he didn't know better!

But Barty would manage to demonstrate it all the same, and M.
Laferté would sigh deeply, and exclaim, "C'est joliment beau, la

Then: "Danse!"

And Barty danced "la Paladine," and did Scotch reels and Irish jigs
and break-downs of his own invention, amidst roars of laughter from
all the family.

Finally the gentlemen of the party went down to the river for a
swim--and old Laferté would sit on the bank and smoke his
brûle-gueule, and throw carefully selected stones for Barty to dive
after--and feel he'd scored off Barty when the proper stone wasn't
found, and roar in his triumph. After which he would go and pick the
finest peach he could find, and peel it with his pocket-knife very
neatly, and when Barty was dressed, present it to him with a kindly
look in both eyes at once.

"Mange-moi ça--ça t' fera du bien!"

Then, suddenly: "Pourquoi q' tu n'aimes pas la chasse? t'as pas
peur, j'espère!" (Why don't you like shooting? you're not afraid, I

[Illustration: LE PÈRE POLYPHÈME]

"'Sais pas,'" said Josselin; "don't like killing things, I

So Barty became quite indispensable to the happiness and comfort of
Père Polyphème, as he called him, as well as of his amiable family.

On the 1st of September there was a grand breakfast in honor of the
partridges (not in the kitchen this time), and many guests were
invited; and Barty had to sing and talk and play the fool all
through breakfast; and got very tipsy, and had to be put to bed for
the rest of the day. It was no fault of his, and Madame Lafertó
declared that "ces messieurs" ought to be ashamed of themselves, and
watched over Barty like a mother. He has often declared he was never
quite the same after that debauch--and couldn't feel the north for a

The house was soon full of guests, and Barty and I slept in M.
Laferté's bedroom--his wife in a room adjoining.

Every morning old Polyphemus would wake us up by roaring out:

"Hé! ma femme!"

"Voilà, voilà, mon ami!" from the next room.

"Viens vite panser mon cautère!"

And in came Madame L. in her dressing-gown, and dressed a blister he
wore on his big arm.

Then: "Café!"

And coffee came, and he drank it in bed.

Then: "Pipe!"

And his pipe was brought and filled, and he lit it.

Then: "Josselin!"

"Oui, M'sieur Laferté."

"Tire moi une gamme."

"Dorémifasollasido--Dosilasolfamirédo!" sang Josselin, up and down,
in beautiful tune, with his fresh bird-like soprano.

"Ah! q' ça fait du bien!" says M. L.; then a pause, and puffs of
smoke and grunts and sighs of satisfaction.


"Oui, M'sieur Laferté!"

"'La brune Thérèse!'"

And Josselin would sing about the dark-haired Thérèsa--three verses.

"Tu as changé la fin du second couplet--tu as dit '_des comtesses_' au
lieu de dire '_des duchesses_'--recommence!" (You changed the end of the
second verse--you said "countesses" instead of "duchesses"--begin

And Barty would re-sing it, as desired, and bring in the duchesses.

"Maintenant, 'Colin, disait Lisette!'"

And Barty would sing that charming little song, most charmingly:

    "'Colin,' disait Lisette,
        'Je voudrais passer l'eau!
      Mais je suis trop pauvrette
        Pour payer le bateau!'
     'Entrez, entrez, ma belle!
        Entrez, entrez toujours!
      Et vogue la nacelle
        Qui porte mes amours!"

And old L. would smoke and listen with an air of heavenly beatitude
almost pathetic.

"Elle était bien gentille, Lisette--n'est-ce pas,
petiot?--recommence!" (She was very nice, Lisette; wasn't she,
sonny?--being again!)

"Now both get up and wash and go to breakfast. Come here,
Josselin--you see this little silver dagger" (producing it from
under his pillow). "It's rather pointy, but not at all dangerous.
My mother gave it me when I was just your age--to cut books with;
it's for you. Allons, file! [cut along] no thanks!--but look
here--are you coming with us à la chasse to-day?"

"Non, M. Laferté!"

"Pourquoi?--t'as pas peur, j'espère!"

"Sais pas. J' n'aime pas les choses mortes--ça saigne--et ça n' sent
pas bon--ça m'fait mal au coeur." (Don't know. I'm not fond of dead
things. They bleed--and they don't smell nice--it makes me sick.)

And two or three times a day would Barty receive some costly token
of this queer old giant's affection, till he got quite unhappy about
it. He feared he was despoiling the House of Laferté of all its
treasures in silver and gold; but he soothed his troubled conscience
later on by giving them all away to favorite boys and masters at
Brossard's--especially M. Bonzig, who had taken charge of his white
mouse (and her family, now quite grown up--children and
grandchildren and all) when Mlle. Marceline went for her fortnight's
holiday. Indeed, he had made a beautiful cage for them out of wood
and wire, with little pasteboard mangers (which they nibbled away).

Well, the men of the party and young Laferté and I would go off with the
dogs and keepers into the forest--and Barty would pick filberts and
fruit with Jeanne and Marie, and eat them with bread-and-butter and jam
and _cernaux_ (unripe walnuts mixed with salt and water and
verjuice--quite the nicest thing in the world). Then he would find his
way into the heart of the forest, which he loved--and where he had
scraped up a warm friendship with some charcoal-burners, whose huts were
near an old yellow-watered pond, very brackish and stagnant and deep,
and full of leeches and water-spiders. It was in the densest part of the
forest, where the trees were so tall and leafy that the sun never fell
on it, even at noon. The charcoal-burners told him that in '93 a young
de la Tremblaye was taken there at sunset to be hanged on a giant
oak-tree--but he talked so agreeably and was so pleasant all round that
they relented, and sent for bread and wine and cider and made a night of
it, and didn't hang him till dawn next day; after which they tied a
stone to his ankles and dropped him into the pond, which was called "the
pond of the respite" ever since; and his young wife, Claire Élisabeth,
drowned herself there the week after, and their bones lie at the bottom
to this very day.

And, ghastly to relate, the ringleader in this horrible tragedy was
a beautiful young woman, a daughter of the people, it seems--one
Séraphine Doucet, whom the young viscount had betrayed before
marriage--le droit du seigneur!--and but for whom he would have been
let off after that festive night. Ten or fifteen years later,
smitten with incurable remorse, she hanged herself on the very
branch of the very tree where they had strung up her noble lover;
and still walks round the pond at night, wringing her hands and
wailing. It's a sad story--let us hope it isn't true.

Barty Josselin evidently had this pond in his mind when he wrote in
"Âmes en peine":

    Sous la berge hantée
      L'eau morne croupit--
    Sous la sombre futaie
      Le renard glapit,
    Et le cerf-dix-cors brame, et les daims viennent boire à l'Étang du
    "Lâchez-moi, Loupgaroux!"
    Que sinistre est la mare
      Quand tombe la nuit;
    La chouette s'effare--
      Le blaireau s'enfuit!
    L'on y sent que les morts se réveillent--qu'une ombre sans nom vous
    "Lâchez-moi, Loup-garoux!"

Forêt! forêt! what a magic there is in that little French
dissyllable! Morne forêt! Is it the lost "s," and the heavy "^" that
makes up for it, which lend such a mysterious and gloomy

Forest! that sounds rather tame--almost cheerful! If _we_ want a
forest dream we have to go so far back for it, and dream of Robin
Hood and his merrie men! And even then Epping forces itself into our
dream--and even Chingford, where there was never a were-wolf within
the memory of man. Give us at least the _virgin_ forest, in some far
Guyana or Brazil--or even the forest primeval--

    "... where the murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
    Bearded with moss and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
    Stand like druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
    Stand like harpers hoar"--

that we may dream of scalp-hunting Mingoes, and grizzly-bears, and
moose, and buffalo, and the beloved Bas-de-cuir with that magic
rifle of his, that so seldom missed its mark and never got out of

    "Prom'nons nous dans les bois
     Pendant que le loup n'y est pas...."

That's the first song I ever heard. Céline used to sing it, my
nurse--who was very lovely, though she had a cast in her eye and
wore a black cap, and cotton in her ears, and was pitted with the
smallpox. It was in Burgundy, which was rich in forests, with plenty
of wolves in them, and wild-boars too--and that was only a hundred
years ago, when that I was a little tiny boy. It's just an old
nursery rhyme to lull children to sleep with, or set them
dancing--pas aut' chose--but there's a deal of Old France in it!

There I go again--digressing as usual and quoting poetry and trying
to be literary and all that! C'est plus fort que moi....

One beautiful evening after dinner we went, the whole lot of us,
fishing for crayfish in the meadows beyond the home farm.

As we set about waiting for the crayfish to assemble round the bits
of dead frog that served for bait and were tied to the wire scales
(which were left in the water), a procession of cows came past us
from the farm. One of them had a wound in her flank--a large tumor.

"It's the bull who did that," said Marie. "Il est très méchant!"

Presently the bull appeared, following the herd in sulky dignity. We
all got up and crossed the stream on a narrow plank--all but
Josselin, who remained sitting on a camp-stool.

"Josselin! Josselin! venez donc! il est très mauvais, le taureau!"

Barty didn't move.

The bull came by; and suddenly, seeing him, walked straight to
within a yard of him--and stared at him for five minutes at least,
lashing its tail. Barty didn't stir. Our hearts were in our mouths!

Then the big brindled brute turned quietly round with a friendly
snort and went after the cows--and Barty got up and made it a
courtly farewell salute, saying, "Bon voyage--au plaisir!"

After which he joined the rest of us across the stream, and came in
for a good scolding and much passionate admiration from the ladies,
and huggings and tears of relief from Madame Laferté.

"I knew well he wouldn't be afraid!" said M. Laferté; "they are all
like that, those English--le sang-froid du diable! nom d'un
Vellington! It is we who were afraid--we are not so brave as the
little Josselin! Plucky little Josselin! But why did you not come
with us? Temerity is not valor, Josselin!"

"Because I wanted to show off [_faire le fanfaron_]!" said Barty,
with extreme simplicity.

"Ah, diable! Anyhow, it was brave of you to sit still when he came
and looked at you in the white of the eyes! it was just the right
thing to do; ces Anglais! je n'en reviens pas! à quatorze ans! hein,
ma femme?"

"Pardi!" said Barty, "I was in such a blue funk [j'avais une venette
si bleue] that I couldn't have moved a finger to save my life!"

At this, old Polyphemus went into a Homeric peal of laughter.

"Ces Anglais! what originals--they tell you the real truth at any
cost [ils vous disent la vraie vérité, coûte que coûte]!" and his
affection for Barty seemed to increase, if possible, from that

[Illustration: FANFARONNADE]

Now this was Barty all over--all through life. He always gave
himself away with a liberality quite uncalled for--so he ought to
have some allowances made for that reckless and impulsive
indiscretion which caused him to be so popular in general society,
but got him into so many awkward scrapes in after-life, and made him
such mean enemies, and gave his friends so much anxiety and distress.

(And here I think it right to apologize for so much translating of
such a well-known language as French; I feel quite like another
Ollendorf--who must have been a German, by-the-way--but M. Laferté's
grammar and accent would sometimes have puzzled Ollendorf himself!)

       *       *       *       *       *

Towards the close of September, M. Laferté took it into his head to
make a tour of provincial visits _en famille_. He had never done
such a thing before, and I really believe it was all to show off
Barty to his friends and relations.

It was the happiest time I ever had, and shines out by itself in
that already so unforgettably delightful vacation.

We went in a large charabancs drawn by two stout horses, starting at
six in the morning, and driving right through the Forest of la
Tremblaye; and just ahead of us, to show us the way, M. Laferté
driving himself in an old cabriolet, with Josselin (from whom he
refused to be parted) by his side, singing or talking, according to
order, or cracking jokes; we could hear the big laugh of Polyphemus!

We travelled very leisurely; I forget whether we ever changed horses
or not--but we got over a good deal of ground. We put up at the
country houses of friends and relations of the Lafertés; and visited
old historical castles and mediæval ruins--Châteaudun and
others--and fished in beautiful pellucid tributaries of the
Loire--shot over "des chiens anglais"--danced half the night with
charming people--wandered in lovely parks and woods, and beautiful
old formal gardens with fishponds, terraces, statues, marble
fountains; charmilles, pelouses, quinconces; and all the flowers and
all the fruits of France! And the sun shone every day and all day
long--and in one's dreams all night.

And the peasants in that happy country of the Loire spoke the most
beautiful French, and had the most beautiful manners in the world.
They're famous for it.

It all seems like a fairy tale.

If being made much of, and petted and patted and admired and
wondered at, make up the sum of human bliss, Barty came in for as
full a share of felicity during that festive week as should last an
ordinary mortal for a twelvemonth. _Figaro quà, Figaro là_, from
morning till night in three departments of France!

But he didn't seem to care very much about it all; he would have
been far happier singing and tumbling and romancing away to his
charbonniers by the pond in the Forest of la Tremblaye. He declared
he was never quite himself unless he could feel the north for at
least an hour or two every day, and all night long in his sleep--and
that he should never feel the north again--that it was gone forever;
that he had drunk it all away at that fatal breakfast--and it made
him lonely to wake up in the middle of the night and not know which
way he lay! "dépaysé," as he called it--"désorienté--perdu!"

And laughing, he would add, "Ayez pitié d'un pauvre orphelin!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Then back to Le Gué des Aulnes. And one evening, after a good supper
at Grandmaman Laferté's, the diligence de Paris came jingling and
rumbling through the main street of La Tremblaye, flashing right and
left its two big lamps, red and blue. And we three boys, after the
most grateful and affectionate farewells, packed ourselves into the
coupé, which had been retained for us, and rumbled back to Paris
through the night.

There was quite a crowd to see us off. Not only Lafertés, but
others--all sorts and conditions of men, women, and children--and
among them three or four of Barty's charcoal-burning friends; one of
whom, an old man with magnificent black eyes and an immense beard,
that would have been white if he hadn't been a charcoal-burner,
kissed Barty on both cheeks, and gave him a huge bag full of some
kind of forest berry that is good to eat; also a young cuckoo (which
Barty restored to liberty an hour later); also a dormouse and a
large green lizard; also, in a little pasteboard box, a gigantic
pale green caterpillar four inches long and thicker than your thumb,
with a row of shiny blue stars in relief all along each side of its
back--the most beautiful thing of the kind you ever saw.

"Pioche bien ta géométrie, mon bon petit Josselin! c'est la plus
belle science au monde, crois-moi!" said M. Laferté to Barty, and
gave him the hug of a grizzly-bear; and to me he gave a terrific
hand-squeeze, and a beautiful double-barrelled gun by Lefaucheux,
for which I felt too supremely grateful to find suitable thanks. I
have it now, but I have long given up killing things with it.

I had grown immensely fond of this colossal old "bourru
bienfaisant," as he was called in La Tremblaye, and believe that all
his moroseness and brutality were put on, to hide one of the
warmest, simplest, and tenderest hearts in the world.

Before dawn Barty woke up with such a start that he woke me:

"Enfin! ça y est! quelle chance!" he exclaimed.

"Quoi, quoi, quoi?" said I, quacking like a duck.

"Le nord--c'est revenu--it's just ahead of us--a little to the

We were nearing Paris.

And thus ended the proudest and happiest time I ever had in my life.
Indeed I almost had an adventure on my own account--_une bonne
fortune_, as it was called at Brossard's by boys hardly older than
myself. I did not brag of it, however, when I got back to school.

It was at "Les Laiteries," or "Les Poteries," or "Les Crucheries,"
or some such place, the charming abode of Monsieur et Madame
Pélisson--only their name wasn't Pélisson, or anything like it. At
dinner I sat next to a Miss ----, who was very tall and wore blond
side ringlets. I think she must have been the English governess.

We talked very much together, in English; and after dinner we walked
in the garden together by starlight arm in arm, and she was so kind
and genial to me in English that I felt quite chivalrous and
romantic, and ready to do doughty deeds for her sake.

Then, at M. Pélisson's request, all the company assembled in a group
for evening prayer, under a spreading chestnut-tree on the lawn: the
prayer sounded very much like the morning or evening prayer at
Brossard's, except that the Almighty was addressed as "toi" instead
of "vous"; it began:

"Notre Père qui es aux cieux--toi dont le regard scrutateur pénètre
jusque dans les replis les plus profonds de nos coeurs"--and ended,
"Ainsi soit-il!"

The night was very dark, and I stood close to Miss ----, who stood
as it seemed with her hands somewhere behind her back. I was so
grateful to her for having talked to me so nicely, and so fond of
her for being English, that the impulse seized me to steal my hand
into hers--and her hand met mine with a gentle squeeze which I
returned; but soon the pressure of her hand increased, and by the
time M. le Curé had got to "au nom du Père" the pressure of her hand
had become an agony--a thing to make one shriek!

"Ainsi soit-il!" said M. le Curé, and the little group broke up, and
Miss ---- walked quietly indoors with her arm around Madame
Pélisson's waist, and without even wishing me good-night--and my
hand was being squeezed worse than ever.

"Ah ha! Lequel de nous deux est volé, petit coquin?" hissed an angry
male voice in my ear--(which of us two is sold, you little rascal?).

And I found my hand in that of Monsieur Pélisson, whose name was
something else--and I couldn't make it out, nor why he was so angry.
It has dawned upon me since that each of us took the other's hand by
Mistake for that of the English governess!

All this is beastly and cynical and French, and I apologize for
it--but it's true.

       *       *       *       *       *


It was a black Monday for me when school began again after that
ideal vacation. The skies they were ashen and sober, and the leaves
they were crisped and sere. But anyhow I was still _en quatrième_,
and Barty was in it too--and we sat next to each other in "L'étude
des grands."

There was only one étude now; only half the boys came back, and the
pavillon des petits was shut up, study, class-rooms, dormitories,
and all--except that two masters slept there still.


Eight or ten small boys were put in a small school-room in the same
house as ours, and had a small dormitory to themselves, with M.
Bonzig to superintend them.

I made up my mind that I would no longer be a _cancre_ and a
_crétin_, but work hard and do my little best, so that I might keep
up with Barty and pass into the _troisième_ with him, and then into
_Rhétorique_ (seconde), and then into _Philosophie_ (première)--that
we might do our humanities and take our degree together--our
"_Bachot_," which is short for _Baccalauréat-ès-lettres_. Most
Especially did I love Monsieur Durosier's class of French
Literature--for which Mérovée always rang the bell himself.

My mother and sister were still at Ste.-Adresse, Hâvre, with my
father; so I spent my first Sunday that term at the Archibald
Rohans', in the Rue du Bac.

I had often seen them at Brossard's, when they came to see Barty,
but had never been at their house before.

They were very charming people.

Lord Archibald was dressing when we got there that Sunday morning,
and we sat with him while he shaved--in an immense dressing-room
where there were half a dozen towel-horses with about thirty pairs
of newly ironed trousers on them instead of towels, and quite thirty
pairs of shiny boots on trees were ranged along the wall. James, an
impeccable English valet, waited on "his lordship," and never spoke
unless spoken to.

"Hullo, Barty! Who's your friend?"

"Bob Maurice, Uncle Archie."

And Uncle Archie shook hands with me most cordially.

"And how's the north pole this morning?"

"Nicely, thanks, Uncle Archie."

Lord Archibald was a very tall and handsome man, about fifty--very
droll and full of anecdote; he had stories to tell about everything
in the room.

For instance, how Major Welsh of the 10th Hussars had given him that
pair of Wellingtons, which fitted him better than any boots Hoby
ever made him to measure; they were too tight for poor Welsh, who
was a head shorter than himself.

How Kerlewis made him that frock-coat fifteen years ago, and it
wasn't threadbare yet, and fitted him as well as ever--for he hadn't
changed his weight for thirty years, etc.

How that pair of braces had been made by "my lady" out of a pair of
garters she wore on the day they were married.

And then he told us how to keep trousers from bagging at the knees,
and how cloth coats should be ironed, and how often--and how to fold
an umbrella.

It suddenly occurs to me that perhaps these little anecdotes may not
be so amusing to the general reader as they were to me when he told
them, so I won't tell any more. Indeed, I have often noticed that
things look sometimes rather dull in print that were so surprisingly
witty when said in spontaneous talk a great many years ago!

Then we went to breakfast with my lady and Daphne, their charming
little daughter--Barty's sister, as he called her--"m'amour"--and
who spoke both French and English equally well.

But we didn't breakfast at once, ravenous as we boys were, for Lady
Archibald took a sudden dislike to Lord A.'s cravat, which, it
seems, he had never worn before. It was in brown satin, and Lady A.
declared that Loulou (so she called him) never looked "_en beauté_"
with a brown cravat; and there was quite a little quarrel between
husband and wife on the subject--so that he had to go back to his
dressing-room and put on a blue one.

At breakfast he talked about French soldiers of the line, and their
marching kit (as it would be called now), quite earnestly, and, as
it seemed to me, very sensibly--though he went through little
mimicries that made his wife scream with laughter, and me too; and
in the middle of breakfast Barty sang "Le Chant du Départ" as well
as he could for laughing:

    "La victoire en chantant nous ouvre la carrière!
           La liberté-é gui-i-de nos pas" ...

while Lord A. went through an expressive pantomime of an overladen
foot-soldier up and down the room, in time to the music. The only
person who didn't laugh was James--which I thought ungenial.

Then Lady A. had _her_ innings, and sang "Rule Britannia, Britannia
rule de vaves"--and declared it was far more ridiculous really than
the "Chant du Départ," and she made it seem so, for she went through
a pantomime too. She was a most delightful person, and spoke English
quite well when she chose; and seemed as fond of Barty as if he were
her own and only son--and so did Lord Archibald. She would say:

"Quel dommage qu'on ne peut pas avoir des crompettes [crumpets]!
Barty les aime tant! n'est-ce pas, mon chou, tu aimes bien les
crompettes? voici venir du buttered toast--c'est toujours ça!"

And, "Mon Dieu, comme il a bonne mine, ce cher Barty--n'est-ce pas,
mon amour, que tu as bonne mine? regarde-toi dans la glace."

And, "Si nous allions à l'Hippodrôme cette après-midi voir la belle
écuyère Madame Richard? Barty adore les jolies femmes, comme son
oncle! n'est-ce pas, méchant petit Barty, que tu adores les jolies
femmes? et tu n'as jamais vu Madame Richard? Tu m'en diras des
nouvelles! et vous, mon ami [this to me], est-ce que vous adorez
aussi les jolies femmes?"

"Ô oui," says Daphne, "allons voir M'ame Richard; it'll be _such_
fun! oh, bully!"

So after breakfast we went for a walk, and to a café on the Quai
d'Orsay, and then to the Hippodrôme, and saw the beautiful écuyère
in graceful feats of la haute école, and lost our hearts--especially
Lord Archibald, though him she knew; for she kissed her hand to him,
and he his to her.

Then we dined at the Palais Royal, and afterwards went to the Café
des Aveugles, an underground coffee-house near the Café de la
Rotonde, and where blind men made instrumental music; and we had a
capital evening.

I have met in my time more intellectual people, perhaps, than the
Archibald Rohans--but never people more amiable, or with kinder,
simpler manners, or who made one feel more quickly and thoroughly at
home--and the more I got to know them, the more I grew to like them;
and their fondness for each other and Daphne, and for Barty too, was
quite touching; as was his for them. So the winter sped happily till
February, when a sad thing happened.

I had spent Sunday with my mother and sister, who now lived on the
ground-floor of 108 Champs Élysées.

I slept there that Sunday night, and walked back to school next
morning. To my surprise, as I got to a large field through which a
diagonal footpath led to Père Jaurion's loge, I saw five or six boys
sitting on the terrace parapet with their legs dangling outside.
They should have been in class, by rights. They watched me cross the
field, but made no sign.

"What on earth _can_ be the matter?" thought I.

The cordon was pulled, and I came on a group of boys all stiff and

"Qu'est-ce que vous avez donc, tous?" I asked.

"Le Père Brossard est mort!" said De Villars.

Poor M. Brossard had died of apoplexy on the previous afternoon. He
had run to catch the Passy omnibus directly after lunch, and had
fallen down in a fit and died immediately.

"Il est tombé du haut mal"--as they expressed it.

His son Mérovée and his daughter Madame Germain were distracted. The
whole of that day was spent by the boys in a strange, unnatural
state of _désoeuvrement_ and suppressed excitement for which no
outlet was possible. The meals, especially, were all but unbearable.
One was ashamed of having an appetite, and yet one had--almost
keener than usual, if I may judge by myself--and for some
undiscovered reason the food was better than on other Mondays!

Next morning we all went up in sorrowful procession to kiss our poor
dear head-master's cold forehead as he lay dead in his bed, with
sprigs of boxwood on his pillow, and above his head a jar of holy
water with which we sprinkled him. He looked very serene and
majestic, but it was a harrowing ceremony. Mérovée stood by with
swollen eyes and deathly pale--incarnate grief.

On Wednesday afternoon M. Brossard was buried in the Cimetière de
Passy, a tremendous crowd following the hearse; the boys and masters
just behind Mérovée and M. Germain, the chief male mourners. The
women walked in another separate procession behind.

Béranger and Alphonse Karr were present among the notabilities, and
speeches were made over his open grave, for he was a very
distinguished man.

And, tragical to relate, that evening in the study Barty and I fell
out, and it led to a stand-up fight next day.

There was no preparation that evening; he and I sat side by side
reading out of a book by Châteaubriand--either _Atala_, or _René_ or
_Les Natchez_, I forget which. I have never seen either since.

The study was hushed; M. Dumollard was _de service_ as _maître
d'études_, although there was no attempt to do anything but sadly
read improving books.

If I remember aright, René, a very sentimental young Frenchman, who
had loved the wrong person not wisely, but too well (a very wrong
person indeed, in his case), emigrated to North America, and there
he met a beautiful Indian maiden, one Atala, of the Natchez tribe,
who had rosy heels and was charming, and whose entire skin was
probably a warm dark red, although this is not insisted upon. She
also had a brother, whose name was Outogamiz.

Well, René loved Atala, Atala loved René, and they were married; and
Outogamiz went through some ceremony besides, which made him blood
brother and bosom friend to René--a bond which involved certain
obligatory rites and duties and self-sacrifices.

Atala died and was buried. René died and was buried also; and every
day, as in duty bound, poor Outogamiz went and pricked a vein and
bled over Rene's tomb, till he died himself of exhaustion before he
was many weeks older. I quote entirely from memory.

This simple story was told in very touching and beautiful language,
by no means telegraphese, and Barty and I were deeply affected by

"I say, Bob!" Barty whispered to me, with a break in his voice,
"some day I'll marry your sister, and we'll all go off to America
together, and she'll die, and _I_'ll die, and you shall bleed
yourself to death on my tomb!"

"No," said I, after a moment's thought. "No--look here! _I_'ll marry
_your_ sister, and _I_'ll die, and _you_ shall bleed over _my_

Then, after a pause:

"I haven't got a sister, as you know quite well--and if I had she
wouldn't be for _you_!" says Barty.

"Why not?"

"Because you're not good-looking enough!" says Barty.

At this, just for fun, I gave him a nudge in the wind with my
elbow--and he gave me a "twisted pinch" on the arm--and I kicked him
on the ankle, but so much harder than I intended that it hurt him,
and he gave me a tremendous box on the ear, and we set to fighting
like a couple of wild-cats, without even getting up, to the scandal
of the whole study and the indignant disgust of M. Dumollard, who
separated us, and read us a pretty lecture:

"Voilà bien les Anglais!--rien n'est sacré pour eux, pas même la
mort! rien que les chiens et les chevaux." (Nothing, not even death,
is sacred to Englishmen--nothing but dogs and horses.)

When we went up to bed the head-boy of the school--a first-rate boy
called d'Orthez, and Berquin (another first-rate boy), who had each
a bedroom to himself, came into the dormitory and took up the
quarrel, and discussed what should be done. Both of us were
English--ergo, both of us ought to box away the insult with our
fists; so "they set a combat us between, to fecht it in the
dawing"--that is, just after breakfast, in the school-room.

I went to bed very unhappy, and so, I think, did Barty.

Next morning at six, just after the morning prayer, M. Mérovée came
into the school-room and made us a most straightforward, manly, and
affecting speech; in which he told us he meant to keep on the
school, and thanked us, boys and masters, for our sympathy.

We were all moved to our very depths--and sat at our work solemn and
sorrowful all through that lamp-lit hour and a half; we hardly dared
to cough, and never looked up from our desks.

Then 7.30--ding-dang-dong and breakfast. Thursday--bread-and-butter

I felt hungry and greedy and very sad, and disinclined to fight.
Barty and I had sat turned away from each other, and made no attempt
at reconciliation.

We all went to the réfectoire: it was raining fast. I made my ball
of salt and butter, and put it in a hole in my hunk of bread, and
ran back to the study, where I locked these treasures in my desk.

The study soon filled with boys: no masters ever came there during
that half-hour; they generally smoked and read their newspapers in
the gymnastic ground, or else in their own rooms when it was wet

D'Orthez and Berquin moved one or two desks and forms out of the way
so as make a ring--l'arène, as they called it--with comfortable
seats all round. Small boys stood on forms and window-sills eating
their bread-and-butter with a tremendous relish.

"Dites donc, vous autres," says Bonneville, the wit of the school,
who was in very high spirits; "it's like the Roman Empire during the
decadence--'_panem et circenses_!'"

"What's that, _circenses_? what does it mean?" says Rapaud, with his
mouth full.

"Why, _butter_, you idiot! Didn't you know _that_?" says Bonneville.

Barty and I stood opposite each other; at his sides as seconds were
d'Orthez and Berquin; at mine, Jolivet trois (the only Jolivet now
left in the school) and big du Tertre-Jouan (the young marquis who
wasn't Bonneville).

We began to spar at each other in as knowing and English a way as we
knew how--keeping a very respectful distance indeed, and trying to
bear ourselves as scientifically as we could, with a keen expression
of the eye.

When I looked into Barty's face I felt that nothing on earth would
ever make me hit such a face as that--whatever he might do to mine.
My blood wasn't up; besides, I was a coarse-grained, thick-set,
bullet-headed little chap with no nerves to speak of, and didn't mind
punishment the least bit. No more did Barty, for that matter, though
he was the most highly wrought creature that ever lived.

At length they all got impatient, and d'Orthez said:

"Allez donc, godems--ce n'est pas un quadrille! Nous n'sommes pas à
La Salle Valentino!"

And Barty was pushed from behind so roughly that he came at me, all
his science to the winds and slogging like a French boy; and I,
quite without meaning to, in the hurry, hit out just as he fell over
me, and we both rolled together over Jolivet's foot--Barty on top
(he was taller, though not heavier, than I); and I saw the blood
flow from his nose down his lip and chin, and some of it fell on my

Says Barty to me, in English, as we lay struggling on the dusty

"Look here, it's no good. I _can't_ fight to-day; poor Mérovée, you
know. Let's make it up!"

"All right!" says I. So up we got and shook hands, Barty saying,
with mock dignity:

"Messieurs, le sang a coulé; l'honneur britannique est sauf;" and
the combat was over.

"Cristi! J'ai joliment faim!" says Barty, mopping his nose with his
handkerchief. "I left my crust on the bench outside the réfectoire.
I wish one of you fellows would get it for me."

"Rapaud finished your crust [ta miche] while you were fighting,"
says Jolivet. "I saw him."

Says Rapaud: "Ah, Dame, it was getting prettily wet, your crust, and
I was prettily hungry too; and I thought you didn't want it,

I then produced _my_ crust and cut it in two, butter and all, and
gave Barty half, and we sat very happily side by side, and
breakfasted together in peace and amity. I never felt happier or

"Cristi, comme ils se sont bien battus," says little Vaissière to
little Cormenu. "As-tu vu? Josselin a saigné tout plein sur la
blouse à Maurice." (How well they fought! Josselin bled all over
Maurice's blouse!)

Then says Josselin, in French, turning to me with that delightful
jolly smile that always reminded one of the sun breaking through a

"I would sooner bleed on your blouse than on your tomb." (J'aime
mieux saigner sur ta blouse que sur ta tombe.)

So ended the only quarrel we ever had.

Part Third

    "Que ne puis-je aller où s'en vont les roses,
             Et n'attendre pas
     Ces regrets navrants que la fin des choses
             Nous garde ici-bas!"--Anon.

Barty worked very hard, and so did I--for _me_!
Horace--Homer--Æschylus--Plato--etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., and
all there was to learn in that French school-boy's encyclopædia--"Le
Manuel du Baccalauréat"; a very thick book in very small print. And
I came to the conclusion that it is good to work hard: it makes one
enjoy food and play and sleep so keenly--and Thursday afternoons.

The school was all the pleasanter for having fewer boys; we got more
intimate with each other, and with the masters too. During the
winter M. Bonzig told us capital stories--_Modeste Mignon_, by
Balzac--_Le Chevalier de Maison-rouge_, by A. Dumas père--etc., etc.

In the summer the Passy swimming-bath was more delightful than ever.
Both winter and summer we passionately fenced with a pupil (un
prévôt) of the famous M. Bonnet, and did gymnastics with M. Louis,
the gymnastic master of the Collège Charlemagne--the finest man I
ever saw--a gigantic dwarf six feet high, all made up of lumps of
sinew and muscles, like....

Also, we were taught equitation at the riding-school in the Rue

On Saturday nights Barty would draw a lovely female profile, with a
beautiful big black eye, in pen and ink, and carefully shade it;
especially the hair, which was always as the raven's wing! And on
Sunday morning he and I used to walk together to 108 Champs Élysées
and enter the rez-de-chaussée (where my mother and sister lived) by
the window, before my mother was up. Then Barty took out his lovely
female pen-and-ink profile to gaze at, and rolled himself a
cigarette and lit it, and lay back on the sofa, and made my sister
play her lightest music--"La pluie de Perles," by Osborne--and
"Indiana," a beautiful valse by Marcailhou--and thus combine three
or four perfect blisses in one happy quart d'heure.

Then my mother would appear, and we would have breakfast--after
which Barty and I would depart by the window as we had come, and go
and do our bit of Boulevard and Palais Royal. Then to the Rue du Bac
for another breakfast with the Rohans; and then, "_au petit
bonheur_"; that is, trusting to Providence for whatever turned up.
The programme didn't vary very much: either I dined with him at the
Rohans', or he with me at 108. Then, back to Brossard's at
ten--tired and happy.

One Sunday I remember well we stayed in school, for old Josselin the
fisherman came to see us there--Barty's grandfather, now a widower;
and M. Mérovée asked him to lunch with us, and go to the baths in
the afternoon.

Imagine old Bonzig's delight in this "_vieux loup de mer_," as he
called him! That was a happy day for the old fisherman also; I shall
never forget his surprise at M. Dumollard's telescope--and how
clever he was on the subject.

He came to the baths, and admired and criticised the good swimming
of the boys--especially Barty's, which was really remarkable. I
don't believe he could swim a stroke himself.

Then we went and dined together at Lord Archibald's, in the Rue du
Bac--"Mon Colonel," as the old fisherman always called him. He was a
very humorous and intelligent person, this fisher, though nearer
eighty than seventy; very big, and of a singularly picturesque
appearance--for he had not _endimanché_ himself in the least; and
very clean. A splendid old man; oddly enough, somewhat Semitic of
aspect--as though he had just come from a miraculous draught of
fishes in the Sea of Galilee, out of a cartoon by Raphael!

I recollect admiring how easily and pleasantly everything went
during dinner, and all through the perfection of this ancient
sea-toiler's breeding in all essentials.

Of course the poor all over the world are less nice in their habits
than the rich, and less correct in their grammar and accent, and
narrower in their views of life; but in every other respect there
seemed little to choose between Josselins and Rohans and
Lonlay-Savignacs; and indeed, according to Lord Archibald, the best
manners were to be found at these two opposite poles--or even wider
still. He would have it that Royalty and chimney-sweeps were the
best-bred people all over the world--because there was no possible
mistake about their social status.

I felt a little indignant--after all, Lady Archibald was built out
of chocolate, for all her Lonlay and her Savignac! just as I was
built out of Beaune and Chambertin.

I'm afraid I shall be looked upon as a snob and a traitor to my
class if I say that I have at last come to be of the same opinion
myself. That is, if absolute simplicity, and the absence of all
possible temptation to try and seem an inch higher up than we really
are--But there! this is a very delicate question, about which I
don't care a straw; and there are such exceptions, and so many, to
confirm any such rule!

Anyhow, I saw how Barty _couldn't help_ having the manners we all so
loved him for. After dinner Lady Archibald showed old Josselin some
of Barty's lovely female profiles--a sight that affected him
strangely. He would have it that they were all exact portraits of
his beloved Antoinette, Barty's mother.

They were certainly singularly like each other, these little
chefs-d'oeuvre of Barty's, and singularly handsome--an ideal type of
his own; and the old grandfather was allowed his choice, and
touchingly grateful at being presented with such treasures.

The scene made a great impression on me.

       *       *       *       *       *

So spent itself that year--a happy year that had no history--except
for one little incident that I will tell because it concerns Barty,
and illustrates him.

One beautiful Sunday morning the yellow omnibus was waiting for some
of us as we dawdled about in the school-room, titivating; the
masters nowhere, as usual on a Sunday morning; and some of the boys
began to sing in chorus a not very edifying _chanson_, which they
did not "Bowdlerize," about a holy Capuchin friar; it began (if I
remember rightly):

    "C'était un Capucin, oui bien, un père Capucin,
             Qui confessait trois filles--
     Itou, itou, itou, là là là!
             Qui confessait trois filles
     Au fond de son jardin--
             Oui bien--
     Au fond de son jardin!
             Il dit à la plus jeune--
     Itou, itou, itou, là là là!
             Il dit à la plus jeune
     ... 'Vous reviendrez demain!'"
             Etc, etc., etc.

I have quite forgotten the rest.

Now this little song, which begins so innocently, like a sweet old
idyl of mediæval France--"_un écho du temps passé_"--seems to have
been a somewhat Rabelaisian ditty; by no means proper singing for a
Sunday morning in a boys' school. But boys will be boys, even in
France; and the famous "esprit Gaulois" was somewhat precocious in
the forties, I suppose. Perhaps it is now, if it still exists (which
I doubt--the dirt remains, but all the fun seems to have

Suddenly M. Dumollard bursts into the room in his violent sneaky
way, pale with rage, and says:

"Je vais gifler tous ceux qui ont chanté" (I'll box the ears of
every boy who sang).

So he puts all in a row and begins:

"Rubinel, sur votre parole d'honneur, avez-vous chanté?"

"Non, m'sieur!"

"Caillard, avez-vous chanté?"

"Non, m'sieur!"

"Lipmann, avez-vous chanté?"

"Non, m'sieur!"

"Maurice, avez-vous chanté?"

"Non, m'sieur" (which, for a wonder, was true, for I happened not to
know either the words or the tune).

"Josselin, avez-vous chanté?"

"_Oui, m'sieur!_"

And down went Barty his full length on the floor, from a tremendous
open-handed box on the ear. Dumollard was a very Herculean
person--though by no means gigantic.

Barty got up and made Dumollard a polite little bow, and walked out
of the room.

"Vous êtes tous consignés!" says M. Dumollard--and the omnibus went
away empty, and we spent all that Sunday morning as best we might.

In the afternoon we went out walking in the Bois. Dumollard had
recovered his serenity and came with us; for he was _de service_
that day.

Says Lipmann to him:

"Josselin drapes himself in his English dignity--he sulks like
Achilles and walks by himself."

"Josselin is at least a _man_," says Dumollard. "He tells the truth,
and doesn't know fear--and I'm sorry he's English!"

And later, at the Mare d'Auteuil, he put out his hand to Barty and

"Let's make it up, Josselin--au moins vous avez du coeur, vous.
Promettez-moi que vous ne chanterez plus cette sale histoire de

Josselin took the usher's hand, and smiled his open, toothy smile,
and said:

"Pas le dimanche matin toujours--quand c'est vous qui serez de
service, M. Dumollard!" (Anyhow not Sunday morning when _you_'re on
duty, Mr. D.)

And Mr. D. left off running down the English in public after
that--except to say that they _couldn't_ be simple and natural if
they tried; and that they affected a ridiculous accent when they
spoke French--not Josselin and Maurice, but all the others he had
ever met. As if plain French, which had been good enough for William
the Conqueror, wasn't good enough for the subjects of her Britannic
Majesty to-day!

The only event of any importance in Barty's life that year was his
first communion, which he took with several others of about his own
age. An event that did not seem to make much impression on
him--nothing seemed to make much impression on Barty Josselin when
he was very young. He was just a lively, irresponsible,
irrepressible human animal--always in perfect health and exuberant
spirits, with an immense appetite for food and fun and frolic; like
a squirrel, a collie pup, or a kitten.

Père Bonamy, the priest who confirmed him, was fonder of the boy
than of any one, boy or girl, that he had ever prepared for
communion, and could hardly speak of him with decent gravity, on
account of his extraordinary confessions--all of which were
concocted in the depths of Barty's imagination for the sole purpose
of making the kind old curé laugh; and the kind old curé was just as
fond of laughing as was Barty of playing the fool, in and out of
season. I wonder if he always thought himself bound to respect the
secrets of the confessional in Barty's case!

And Barty would sing to him--even in the confessional:

    "Stabat mater dolorosa
     Juxta crucem lachrymosa
     Dum pendebat fllius" ...

in a voice so sweet and innocent and pathetic that it would almost
bring the tears to the good old curé's eyelash.

"Ah! ma chère Mamzelle Marceline!" he would say--"au moins s'ils
étaient tous comme ce petit Josselin! çà irait comme sur des
roulettes! Il est innocent comme un jeune veau, ce mioche anglais!
Il a le bon Dieu dans le coeur!"

"Et une boussole dans l'estomac!" said Mlle. Marceline.

I don't think he was quite so _innocent_ as all that, perhaps--but
no young beast of the field was ever more _harmless_.

That year the examinations were good all round; even _I_ did not
disgrace myself, and Barty was brilliant. But there were no
delightful holidays for me to record. Barty went to Yorkshire, and I
remained in Paris with my mother.

There is only one thing more worth mentioning that year.

My father had inherited from _his_ father a system of shorthand,
which he called _Blaze_--I don't know why! _His_ father had learnt
it of a Dutch Jew.

It is, I think, the best kind of cipher ever invented (I have taken
interest in these things and studied them). It is very difficult to
learn, but I learnt it as a child--and it was of immense use to me
at lectures we used to attend at the Sorbonne and Collège de France.

Barty was very anxious to know it, and after some trouble I obtained
my father's permission to impart this calligraphic crypt to Barty,
on condition he should swear on his honor never to reveal it: and
this he did.

With his extraordinary quickness and the perseverance he always had
when he wished a thing very much, he made himself a complete master
of this occult science before he left school, two or three years
later: it took _me_ seven years--beginning when I was four! It does
equally well for French or English, and it played an important part
in Barty's career. My sister knew it, but imperfectly; my mother not
at all--for all she tried so hard and was so persevering; it must be
learnt young. As far as I am aware, no one else knows it in England
or France--or even the world--although it is such a useful
invention; quite a marvel of simple ingenuity when one has mastered
the symbols, which certainly take a long time and a deal of hard

Barty and I got to talk it on our fingers as rapidly as ordinary
speech and with the slightest possible gestures: this was _his_

       *       *       *       *       *

Barty came back from his holidays full of Whitby, and its sailors
and whalers, and fishermen and cobles and cliffs--all of which had
evidently had an immense attraction for him. He was always fond of
that class; possibly also some vague atavistic sympathy for the
toilers of the sea lay dormant in his blood like an inherited

And he brought back many tokens of these good people's regard--two
formidable clasp-knives (for each of which he had to pay the giver
one farthing in current coin of the realm); spirit-flasks, leather
bottles, jet ornaments; woollen jerseys and comforters knitted for
him by their wives and daughters; fossil ammonites and coprolites; a
couple of young sea-gulls to add to his menagerie; and many old
English marine ditties, which he had to sing to M. Bonzig with his
now cracked voice, and then translate into French. Indeed, Bonzig
and Barty became inseparable companions during the Thursday
promenade, on the strength of their common interest in ships and the
sea; and Barty never wearied of describing the place he loved, nor
Bonzig of listening and commenting.

"Ah! mon cher! ce que je donnerais, moi, pour voir le retour d'un
baleinier à Ouittebé! Quelle 'marine' ça ferait! hein? avec la
grande falaise, et la bonne petite église en haut, près de la
Vieille Abbaye--et les toits rouges qui fument, et les trois jetées
en pierre, et le vieux pont-levis--et toute cette grouille de
mariniers avec leurs femmes et leurs enfants--et ces braves filles
qui attendent le retour du bien-aimé! nom d'un nom! dire que vous
avez vu tout ça, vous--qui n'avez pas encore seize ans ... quelle
chance!... dites--qu'est-ce que ça veut bien dire, ce

    'Ouïle mé sekile rô!'

Chantez-moi ça encore une fois!"

And Barty, whose voice was breaking, would raucously sing him the
good old ditty for the sixth time:

    "Weel may the keel row, the keel row, the keel row,
           Weel may the keel row
     That brings my laddie home!"

which he would find rather difficult to render literally into
colloquial seafaring French!

He translated it thus:

    "Vogue la carène,
     Vogue la carène
     Qui me ramène
     Mon bien aimé!"

"Ah! vous verrez," says Bonzig--"vous verrez, aux prochaines
vacances de Pâques--je ferai un si joli tableau de tout ça! avec la
brume du soir qui tombe, vous savez--et le soleil qui disparait--et
la marée qui monte et la lune qui se lève à l'horizon! et les
mouettes et les goëlands--et les bruyères lointaines--et le vieux
manoir seigneurial de votre grand-père ... c'est bien ça, n'est-ce

"Oui, oui, M'sieur Bonzig--vous y êtes, en plein!"

And the good usher in his excitement would light himself a cigarette
of caporal, and inhale the smoke as if it were a sea-breeze, and
exhale it like a regular sou'-wester! and sing:

    "Ouïle--mé--sekile rô,
     Tat brinn my laddé ôme!"

Barty also brought back with him the complete poetical works of
Byron and Thomas Moore, the gift of his noble grandfather, who
adored these two bards to the exclusion of all other bards that ever
wrote in English. And during that year we both got to know them,
possibly as well as Lord Whitby himself. Especially "Don Juan," in
which we grew to be as word-perfect as in _Polyeucte_, _Le
Misanthrope_, _Athalie_, _Philoctète_, _Le Lutrin_, the first six
books of the Æneid and the Iliad, the _Ars Poetica_, and the _Art
Poétique_ (Boileau).

Every line of these has gone out of my head--long ago, alas! But I
could still stand a pretty severe examination in the now
all-but-forgotten English epic--from Dan to Beersheba--I mean from
"I want a hero" to "The phantom of her frolic grace, Fitz-Fulke!"

Barty, however, remembered everything--what he ought to, and what he
ought not! He had the most astounding memory: wax to receive and
marble to retain; also a wonderful facility for writing verse,
mostly comic, both in English and French. Greek and Latin verse were
not taught us at Brossard's, for good French reasons, into which I
will not enter now.

We also grew very fond of Lamartine and Victor Hugo, quite
openly--and of De Musset under the rose.

    "C'était dans la nuit brune
     Sur le clocher jauni,
             La lune,
     Comme un point sur son i!"

(not for the young person).

[Illustration: "WEEL MAY THE KEEL ROW"]

I have a vague but pleasant impression of that year. Its weathers,
its changing seasons, its severe frosts, with Sunday skatings on the
dangerous canals, St.-Ouen and De l'Ourcq; its genial spring, all
convolvulus and gobéas, and early almond blossom and later
horse-chestnut spikes, and more lime and syringa than ever; its warm
soft summer and the ever-delightful school of notation by the Isle
of Swans.

This particular temptation led us into trouble. We would rise before
dawn, Barty and Jolivet and I, and let ourselves over the wall and
run the two miles, and get a heavenly swim and a promise of silence
for a franc apiece; and run back again and jump into bed a few
minutes before the five-o'clock bell rang the réveillé.

But we did this once too often--for M. Dumollard had been looking at
Venus with his telescope (I _think_ it was Venus) one morning before
sunrise, and spied us out _en flagrant délit_; perhaps with that
very telescope. Anyhow, he pounced on us when we came back. And our
punishment would have been extremely harsh but for Barty, who turned
it all into a joke.

After breakfast M. Mérovée pronounced a very severe sentence on us
under the acacia. I forget what it was--but his manner was very
short and dignified, and he walked away very stiffly towards the
door of the étude. Barty ran after him without noise, and just
touching his shoulders with the tips of his fingers, cleared him at
a bound from behind, as one clears a post.

M. Mérovée, in a _real_ rage this time, forgot his dignity, and
pursued him all over the school--through open windows and back
again--into his own garden (Tusculum)--over trellis railings--all
along the top of a wall--and finally, quite blown out, sat down on
the edge of the tank: the whole school was in fits by this time,
even M. Dumollard--and at last Mérovée began to laugh too. So the
thing had to be forgiven--but only that once!

Once also, that year, but in the winter, a great compliment was paid
to la perfide Albion in the persons of MM. Josselin et Maurice,
which I cannot help recording with a little complacency.

On a Thursday walk in the Bois de Boulogne a boy called out "À bas
Dumollard!" in a falsetto squeak. Dumollard, who was on duty that
walk, was furious, of course--but he couldn't identify the boy by
the sound of his voice. He made his complaint to M. Mérovée--and
next morning, after prayers, Mérovée came into the school-room, and
told us he should go the round of the boys there and then, and ask
each boy separately to own up if it were he who had uttered the
seditious cry.

"And mind you!" he said--"you are all and each of you on your 'word
of honor'--_l'étude entière_!"

So round he went, from boy to boy, deliberately fixing each boy with
his eye, and severely asking--"Est-ce _toi_?" "Est-ce _toi_?"
"Est-ce _toi_?" etc., and waiting very deliberately indeed for the
answer, and even asking for it again if it were not given in a firm
and audible voice. And the answer was always, "Non, m'sieur, ce
n'est pas moi!"

But when he came to each of _us_ (Josselin and me) he just mumbled
his "Est-ce toi?" in a quite perfunctory voice, and didn't even wait
for the answer!

When he got to the last boy of all, who said "Non, m'sieur," like
all the rest, he left the room, saying, tragically (and, as I
thought, rather theatrically for _him_):

"Je m'en vais le coeur navré--il y a un lâche parmi vous!" (My heart
is harrowed--there's a coward among you.)

There was an awkward silence for a few moments.

Presently Rapaud got up and went out. We all knew that Rapaud was
the delinquent--he had bragged about it so--overnight in the
dormitory. He went straight to M. Mérovée and confessed, stating
that he did not like to be put on his word of honor before the whole
school. I forget whether he was punished or not, or how. He had to
make his apologies to M. Dumollard, of course.

To put the whole school on its word of honor was thought a very
severe measure, coming as it did from the head master in person. "La
parole d'honneur" was held to be very sacred between boy and boy,
and even between boy and head master. The boy who broke it was
always "mis à la quarantaine" (sent to Coventry) by the rest of the

"I wonder why he let off Josselin and Maurice so easily?" said
Jolivet, at breakfast.

"Parce qu'il aime les Anglais, ma foi!" said M. Dumollard--"affaire
de goût!"

"Ma foi, il n'a pas tort!" said M. Bonzig.

Dumollard looked askance at Bonzig (between whom and himself not
much love was lost) and walked off, jauntily twirling his mustache,
and whistling a few bars of a very ungainly melody, to which the
words ran:

    "Non! jamais en France,
     Jamais Anglais ne règnera!"

As if we wanted to, good heavens!

(By-the-way, I suddenly remember that both Berquin and d'Orthez were
let off as easily as Josselin and I. But they were eighteen or
nineteen, and "en Philosophie," the highest class in the school--and
very first-rate boys indeed. It's only fair that I should add this.)

By-the-way, also, M. Dumollard took it into his head to persecute me
because once I refused to fetch and carry for him and be his
"moricaud," or black slave (as du Tertre-Jouan called it): a mean
and petty persecution which lasted two years, and somewhat embitters
my memory of those happy days. It was always "Maurice au piquet pour
une heure!"... "Maurice à la retenue!"... "Maurice privé de bain!"...
"Maurice consigné dimanche prochain!" ... for the slightest
possible offence. But I forgive him freely.

First, because he is probably dead, and "de mortibus nil
desperandum!" as Rapaud once said--and for saying which he received
a "twisted pinch" from Mérovée Brossard himself.

Secondly, because he made chemistry, cosmography, and physics so
pleasant--and even reconciled me at last to the differential and
integral calculus (but never Barty!).

He could be rather snobbish at times, which was not a common French
fault in the forties--we didn't even know what to call it.

For instance, he was fond of bragging to us boys about the golden
splendors of his Sunday dissipation, and his grand acquaintances,
even in class. He would even interrupt himself in the middle of an
equation at the blackboard to do so.

"You mustn't imagine to yourselves, messieurs, that because I teach
you boys science at the Pension Brossard, and take you out walking
on Thursday afternoons, and all that, that I do not associate _avec
des gens du monde_! Last night, for example, I was dining at the
Café de Paris with a very intimate friend of mine--he's a
marquis--and when the bill was brought, what do you think it came
to? you give it up?" (vous donnez votre langue aux chats?). "Well,
it came to fifty-seven francs, fifty centimes! We tossed up who
should pay--et, ma foi, le sort a favorisé M. le Marquis!"

To this there was nothing to say; so none of us said anything,
except du Tertre-Jouan, _our_ marquis (No. 2), who said, in his
sulky, insolent, peasantlike manner:

"Et comment q'ça s'appelle, vot' marquis?" (What does it call
itself, your marquis?)

Upon which M. Dumollard turns very red ("pique un soleil"), and

"Monsieur le Marquis Paul--François--Victor du Tertre-Jouan de
Haultcastel de St.-Paterne, vous êtes un paltoquet et un rustre!..."

And goes back to his equations.

Du Tertre-Jouan was nearly six feet high, and afraid of nobody--a
kind of clodhopping young rustic Hercules, and had proved his mettle
quite recently--when a brutal usher, whom I will call Monsieur
Boulot (though his real name was Patachou), a Méridional with a
Horrible divergent squint, made poor Rapaud go down on his knees in
the classe de géographie ancienne, and slapped him violently on the
face twice running--a way he had with Rapaud.

It happened like this. It was a kind of penitential class for dunces
during play-time. M. Boulot drew in chalk an outline of ancient
Greece on the blackboard, and under it he wrote--

    "Timeo Danaos, et dona ferentes!"

"Rapaud, translate me that line of Virgil!" says Boulot.

"J'estime les Danois et leurs dents de fer!" says poor Rapaud (I
esteem the Danish and their iron teeth). And we all laughed. For
which he underwent the brutal slapping.


The window was ajar, and outside I saw du Tertre-Jouan, Jolivet, and
Berquin, listening and peeping through. Suddenly the window bursts wide
open, and du Tertre-Jouan vaults the sill, gets between Boulot and his
victim, and says:

"Le troisième coup fait feu, vous savez! touchez-y encore, à ce
moutard, et j'vous assomme sur place!" (Touch him again, that kid,
and I'll break your head where you stand!).

There was an awful row, of course--and du Tertre-Jouan had to make a
public apology to M. Boulot, who disappeared from the school the
very same day; and Tertre-Jouan would have been canonized by us all,
but that he was so deplorably dull and narrow-minded, and suspected
of being a royalist in disguise. He was an orphan and very rich, and
didn't fash himself about examinations. He left school that year
without taking any degree--and I don't know what became of him.

This year also Barty conceived a tender passion for Mlle. Marceline.

It was after the mumps, which we both had together in a
double-bedded infirmerie next to the lingerie--a place where it was
a pleasure to be ill; for she was in and out all day, and told us
all that was going on, and gave us nice drinks and tisanes of her
own making--and laughed at all Barty's jokes, and some of mine! And
wore the most coquettish caps ever seen.

Besides, she was an uncommonly good-looking woman--a tall blonde
with beautiful teeth, and wonderfully genial, good-humored, and
lively--an ideal nurse, but a terrible postponer of cures! Lord
Archibald quite fell in love with her.

"C'est moi qui voudrais bien avoir les oreillons ici!" he said to
her. "Je retarderais ma convalescence autant que possible!"


"Comme il sait bien le français, votre oncle--et comme il est
poli!" said Marceline to the convalescent Barty, who was in no
hurry to get well either!

When we did get well again, Barty would spend much of his play-time
fetching and carrying for Mlle. Marceline--even getting Dumollard's
socks for her to darn--and talking to her by the hour as he sat by
her pleasant window, out of which one could see the Arch of Triumph,
which so triumphantly dominated Paris and its suburbs, and does so
still--no Eiffel Tower can kill that arch!

I, being less precocious, did not begin my passion for Mlle.
Marceline till next year, just as Bonneville and Jolivet trois were
getting over theirs. Nous avons tous passé par là!

What a fresh and kind and jolly woman she was, to be sure! I wonder
none of the masters married her. Perhaps they did! Let us hope it
wasn't M. Dumollard!

It is such a pleasure to recall every incident of this epoch of my
life and Barty's that I should like to go through our joint lives
day by day, hour by hour, microscopically--to describe every book we
read, every game we played, every _pensum_ (_i.e._, imposition) we
performed; every lark we were punished for--every meal we ate. But
space forbids this self-indulgence, and other considerations make it
unadvisable--so I will resist the temptation.

La pension Brossard! How often have we both talked of it, Barty and
I, as middle-aged men; in the billiard-room of the Marathoneum, let
us say, sitting together on a comfortable couch, with tea and
cigarettes--and always in French whispers! we could only talk of
Brossard's in French.

"Te rappelles-tu l'habit neuf de Berquin, et son chapeau

[Illustration: "'IF HE ONLY KNEW!'"]

"Te souviens-tu de la vieille chatte angora du père Jaurion?" etc.,
etc., etc.

Idiotic reminiscences! as charming to revive as any old song with
words of little meaning that meant so much when one was
four--five--six years old! Before one knew even how to spell them!

    "Paille à Dine--paille à Chine--
     Paille à Suzette et Martine--
       Bon lit à la Dumaine!"

Céline, my nurse, used to sing this--and I never knew what it meant;
nor do I now! But it was charming indeed.

Even now I dream that I go back to school, to get coached by
Dumollard in a little more algebra. I wander about the playground;
but all the boys are new, and don't even know my name; and silent,
sad, and ugly, every one! Again Dumollard persecutes me. And in the
middle of it I reflect that, after all, he is a person of no
importance whatever, and that I am a member of the British
Parliament--a baronet--a millionaire--and one of her Majesty's Privy
Councillors! and that M. Dumollard must be singularly "out of it,"
even for a Frenchman, not to be aware of this.

"If he only knew!" says I to myself, says I--in my dream.

Besides, can't the man see with his own eyes that I'm grown up, and
big enough to tuck him under my left arm, and spank him just as if
he were a little naughty boy--confound the brute!

Then, suddenly:

"Maurice, au piquet pour une heure!"

"Moi, m'sieur?"

"Oui, vous!"

"Pourquoi, m'sieur!"

"Parce que ça me plaît!"

And I wake--and could almost weep to find how old I am!

And Barty Josselin is no more--oh! my God! ... and his dear wife
survived him just twenty-four hours!

       *       *       *       *       *

Behold us both "en Philosophie!"

And Barty the head boy of the school, though not the oldest--and the
brilliant show-boy of the class.

Just before Easter (1851) he and I and Rapaud and Laferté and
Jolivet trois (who was nineteen) and Palaiseau and Bussy-Rabutin
went up for our "bachot" at the Sorbonne.

We sat in a kind of big musty school-room with about thirty other
boys from other schools and colleges. There we sat side by side from
ten till twelve at long desks, and had a long piece of Latin
dictated to us, with the punctuation in French: "un point--point et
virgule--deux points--point d'exclamation--guillemets--ouvrez la
parenthèse," etc., etc.--monotonous details that enervate one at
such a moment!

Then we set to work with our dictionaries and wrote out a
translation according to our lights--a _pion_ walking about and
watching us narrowly for cribs, in case we should happen to have one
for this particular extract, which was most unlikely.

Barty's nose bled, I remember--and this made him nervous.

Then we went and lunched at the Café de l'Odéon, on the best omelet
we had ever tasted.

"Te rappelles-tu cette omelette?" said poor Barty to me only last
Christmas as ever was!

Then we went back with our hearts in our mouths to find if we had
qualified ourselves by our "version écrite" for the oral examination
that comes after, and which is so easy to pass--the examiners having
lunched themselves into good-nature.

There we stood panting, some fifty boys and masters, in a small,
whitewashed room like a prison. An official comes in and puts the
list of candidates in a frame on the wall, and we crane our necks
over each other's shoulders.

And, lo! Barty is plucked--_collé_! and I have passed, and actually
Rapaud--and no one else from Brossard's!

An old man--a parent or grandparent probably of some unsuccessful
candidate--bursts into tears and exclaims,

"Oh! qué malheur--qué malheur!"

A shabby, tall, pallid youth, in the uniform of the Collège
Ste.-Barbe, rushes down the stone stair's shrieking,

"Ça pue l'injustice, ici!"

One hears him all over the place: terrible heartburns and tragic
disappointments in the beginning of life resulted from failure in
this first step--a failure which disqualified one for all the little
government appointments so dear to the heart of the frugal French
parent. "Mille francs par an! c'est le Pactole!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Barty took his defeat pretty easily--he put it all down to his nose
bleeding--and seemed so pleased at my success, and my dear mother's
delight in it, that he was soon quite consoled; he was always like

To M. Mérovée, Barty's failure was as great a disappointment as it
was a painful surprise.

[Illustration: "'MAURICE AU PIQUET!'"]

"Try again Josselin! Don't leave here till you have passed. If you are
content to fail in this, at the very outset of your career, you will
never succeed in anything through life! Stay with us as my guest till
you can go up again, and again if necessary. _Do_, my dear child--it
will make me so happy! I shall feel it as a proof that you reciprocate
in some degree the warm friendship I have always borne you--in common
with everybody in the school! Je t'en prie, mon garçon!"

Then he went to the Rohans and tried to persuade them. But Lord
Archibald didn't care much about Bachots, nor his wife either. They
were going back to live in England, besides; and Barty was going
into the Guards.

I left school also--with a mixture of hope and elation, and yet the
most poignant regret.

I can hardly find words to express the gratitude and affection I
felt for Mérovée Brossard when I bade him farewell.

Except his father before him, he was the best and finest Frenchman I
ever knew. There is nothing invidious in my saying this, and in this
way. I merely speak of the Brossards, father and son, as Frenchmen
in this connection, because their admirable qualities of heart and
mind were so essentially French; they would have done equal honor to
any country in the world.

I corresponded with him regularly for a few years, and so did Barty;
and then our letters grew fewer and farther between, and finally
left off altogether--as nearly always happens in such cases, I
think. And I never saw him again; for when he broke up the school he
went to his own province in the southeast, and lived there till
twenty years ago, when he died--unmarried, I believe.

Then there was Monsieur Bonzig, and Mlle. Marceline, and others--and
three or four boys with whom both Barty and I were on terms of warm
and intimate friendship. None of these boys that I know of have
risen to any world-wide fame; and, oddly enough, none of them have
ever given sign of life to Barty Josselin, who is just as famous in
France for his French literary work as on this side of the Channel
for all he has done in English. He towers just as much there as
here; and this double eminence now dominates the entire globe, and
we are beginning at last to realize everywhere that this bright
luminary in our firmament is no planet, like Mars or Jupiter, but,
like Sirius, a sun.

Yet never a line from an old comrade in that school where he lived
for four years and was so strangely popular--and which he so filled
with his extraordinary personality!

       *       *       *       *       *

So much for Barty Josselin's school life and mine. I fear I may have
dwelt on them at too great a length. No period of time has ever been
for me so bright and happy as those seven years I spent at the
Institution F. Brossard--especially the four years I spent there
with Barty Josselin. The older I get, the more I love to recall the
trivial little incidents that made for us both the sum of existence
in those happy days.

La chasse aux souvenirs d'enfance! what better sport can there be,
or more bloodless, at my time of life?

And all the lonely pathetic pains and pleasures of it, now that _he_
is gone!

The winter twilight has just set in--"betwixt dog and wolf." I
wander alone (but for Barty's old mastiff, who follows me
willy-nilly) in the woods and lanes that surround Marsfield on the
Thames, the picturesque abode of the Josselins.

Darker and darker it grows. I no longer make out the familiar trees
and hedges, and forget how cold it is and how dreary.

    "Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées,
       Sans rien voir au dehors, sans entendre aucun bruit--
     Seul, inconnu, le dos courbé, les mains croisées:
       Triste--et le jour pour moi sera comme la nuit."

(This is Victor Hugo, not Barty Josselin.)

It's really far away I am--across the sea; across the years, O
Posthumus! in a sunny play-ground that has been built over long ago,
or overgrown with lawns and flower-beds and costly shrubs.

Up rises some vague little rudiment of a hint of a ghost of a sunny,
funny old French remembrance long forgotten--a brand-new old
remembrance--a kind of will-o'-the-wisp. Chut! my soul stalks it on
tiptoe, while these earthly legs bear this poor old body of clay, by
mere reflex action, straight home to the beautiful Elisabethan house
on the hill; through the great warm hall, up the broad oak stairs,
into the big cheerful music-room like a studio--ruddy and bright
with the huge log-fire opposite the large window. All is on an ample
scale at Marsfield, people and things! and I! sixteen stone, good

How often that window has been my beacon on dark nights! I used to
watch for it from the train--a landmark in a land of milk and
honey--the kindliest light that ever led me yet on earth.

I sit me down in my own particular chimney-corner, in my own
cane-bottomed chair by the fender, and stare at the blaze with my friend
the mastiff. An old war-battered tomcat Barty was fond of jumps up and
makes friends too. There goes my funny little French remembrance, trying
to fly up the chimney like a burnt love-letter....

Barty's eldest daughter (Roberta), a stately, tall Hebe in black,
brings me a very sizable cup of tea, just as I like it. A well-grown
little son of hers, a very Ganymede, beau comme le jour, brings me a
cigarette, and insists on lighting it for me himself. I like that

Another daughter of Barty's, "la rossignolle," as we call
her--though there is no such word that I know of--goes to the piano
and sings little French songs of forty, fifty years ago--songs that
she has learnt from her dear papa.

Heavens! what a voice! and how like his, but for the difference of
sex and her long and careful training (which he never had); and the
accent, how perfect!

Then suddenly:

    "À Saint-Blaize, à la Zuecca ...
       Vous étiez, vous étiez bien aise!
     À Saint-Blaize, à la Zuecca ...
       Nous étions, nous étions bien là!
         Mais de vous en souvenir
         Prendrez-vous la peine?
         Mais de vous en souvenir,
           Et d'y revenir?
     À Saint-Blaize, à la Zuecca ...
         Vivre et mourir là!"

So sings Mrs. Trevor (Mary Josselin that was) in the richest,
sweetest voice I know. And behold! at last I have caught my little
French remembrance, just as the lamps are being lit--and I transfix
it with my pen and write it down....

And then with a sigh I scratch it all out again, sunny and funny as
it is. For it's all about a comical adventure I had with Palaiseau,
the sniffer at the fête de St.-Cloud--all about a tame magpie, a
gendarme, a blanchisseuse, and a volume of de Musset's poems, and
doesn't concern Barty in the least; for it so happened that Barty
wasn't there!

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus, in the summer of 1851, Barty Josselin and I bade adieu forever
to our happy school life--and for a few years to our beloved
Paris--and for many years to our close intimacy of every hour in the

I remember spending two or three afternoons with him at the great
exhibition in Hyde Park just before he went on a visit to his
grandfather, Lord Whitby, in Yorkshire--and happy afternoons they
were! and we made the most of them. We saw all there was to be seen
there, I think; and found ourselves always drifting back to the
"Amazon" and the "Greek Slave," for both of which Barty's admiration
was boundless.

And so was mine. They made the female fashions for 1851 quite
deplorable by contrast--especially the shoes, and the way of
dressing the hair; we almost came to the conclusion that female
beauty when unadorned is adorned the most. It awes and chastens one
so! and wakes up the knight-errant inside! even the smartest French
boots can't do this! not the pinkest silken hose in all Paris! Not
all the frills and underfrills and wonderfrills that M. Paul Bourget
can so eloquently describe!

My father had taken a house for us in Brunswick Square, next to the
Foundling Hospital. He was about to start an English branch of the
Vougeot-Conti firm in the City. I will not trouble the reader with
any details about this enterprise, which presented many difficulties
at first, and indeed rather crippled our means.


            SON ESPÉRANCE,
            ET SA GAÎTÉ,
            C'EST LA MUSIQUE
            ET LA BEAUTÉ'"

My mother was anxious that I should go to one of the universities,
Oxford or Cambridge; but this my father could not afford. She had a
great dislike to business--and so had I; from different motives, I
fancy. I had the wish to become a man of science--a passion that had
been fired by M. Dumollard, whose special chemistry class at the Pension
Brossard, with its attractive experiments, had been of the deepest
interest to me. I have not described it because Barty did not come in.

Fortunately for my desire, my good father had great sympathy with me
in this; so I was entered as a student at the Laboratory of
Chemistry at University College, close by--in October, 1851--and
studied there for two years, instead of going at once into my
father's business in Barge Yard, Bucklersbury, which would have
pleased him even more.

At about the same time Barty was presented with a commission in the
Second Battalion of the Grenadier Guards, and joined immediately.

Nothing could have been more widely apart than the lives we led, or
the society we severally frequented.

I lived at home with my people; he in rooms on a second floor in St.
James's Street; he had a semi-grand piano, and luxurious furniture,
and bookcases already well filled, and nicely colored lithograph
engravings on the walls--beautiful female faces--the gift of Lady
Archibald, who had superintended Barty's installation with kindly
maternal interest, but little appreciation of high art. There were
also foils, boxing-gloves, dumbbells, and Indian clubs; and many
weapons, ancient and modern, belonging more especially to his own
martial profession. They were most enviable quarters. But he often
came to see us in Brunswick Square, and dined with us once or twice
a week, and was made much of--even by my father, who thoroughly
disapproved of everything about him except his own genial and
agreeable self, which hadn't altered in the least.

My father was much away--in Paris and Dijon--and Barty made rain and
fine weather in our dull abode, to use a French expression--_il y
faisait la pluie et le beau temps_. That is, it rained there when he
was away, and he brought the fine weather with him; and we spoke
French all round.

The greatest pleasure I could have was to breakfast with Barty in
St. James's Street on Sunday mornings, when he was not serving his
Queen and country--either alone with him or with two or three of his
friends--mostly young carpet warriors like himself; and very
charming young fellows they were. I have always been fond of
warriors, young or old, and of whatever rank, and wish to goodness I
had been a warrior myself. I feel sure I should have made a fairly
good one!

Then we would spend an hour or two in athletic exercises and smoke
many pipes. And after this, in the summer, we would walk in
Kensington Gardens and see the Rank and Fashion. In those days the
Rank and Fashion were not above showing themselves in the Kensington
Gardens of a Sunday afternoon, crossing the Serpentine Bridge again
and again between Prince's Gate and Bayswater.

Then for dinner we went to some pleasant foreign pot-house in or
near Leicester Square, where they spoke French--and ate and drank
it!--and then back again to his rooms. Sometimes we would be alone,
which I liked best: we would read and smoke and be happy; or he
would sketch, or pick out accompaniments on his guitar; often not
exchanging a word, but with a delightful sense of close
companionship which silence almost intensified.

Sometimes we were in very jolly company: more warriors; young
Robson, the actor who became so famous; a big negro pugilist, called
Snowdrop; two medical students from St. George's Hospital, who boxed
well and were capital fellows; and an academy art student, who died
a Royal Academician, and who did not approve of Barty's mural
decorations and laughed at the colored lithographs; and many others
of all sorts. There used to be much turf talk, and sometimes a
little card-playing and mild gambling--but Barty's tastes did not
lie that way.

His idea of a pleasant evening was putting on the gloves with
Snowdrop, or any one else who chose--or fencing--or else making
music; or being funny in any way one could; and for this he had
quite a special gift: he had sudden droll inspirations that made one
absolutely hysterical--mere things of suggestive look or sound or
gesture, reminding one of Robson himself, but quite original;
absolute senseless rot and drivel, but still it made one laugh till
one's sides ached. And he never failed of success in achieving this.

Among the dullest and gravest of us, and even some of the most
high-minded, there is often a latent longing for this kind of happy
idiotic fooling, and a grateful fondness for those who can supply it
without effort and who delight in doing so. Barty was the precursor
of the Arthur Robertses and Fred Leslies and Dan Lenos of our day,
although he developed in quite another direction!

Then of a sudden he would sing some little twopenny love-ballad or
sentimental nigger melody so touchingly that one had the lump in the
throat; poor Snowdrop would weep by spoonfuls!

By-the-way, it suddenly occurs to me that I'm mixing things
up--confusing Sundays and week-days; of course our Sunday evenings
were quiet and respectable, and I much preferred them when he and I
were alone; he was then another person altogether--a thoughtful and
intelligent young Frenchman, who loved reading poetry aloud or being
read to; especially English poetry--Byron! He was faithful to his
"Don Juan," his Hebrew melodies--his "O'er the glad waters of the
deep blue sea." We knew them all by heart, or nearly so, and yet we
read them still; and Victor Hugo and Lamartine, and dear Alfred de

And one day I discovered another Alfred who wrote verses--Alfred the
Great, as we called him--one Alfred Tennyson, who had written a
certain poem, among others, called "In Memoriam"--which I carried
off to Barty's and read out aloud one wet Sunday evening, and the
Sunday evening after, and other Sunday evenings; and other poems by
the same hand: "Locksley Hall," "Ulysses," "The Lotos-Eaters," "The
Lady of Shalott"--and the chord of Byron passed in music out of

Then Shelley dawned upon us, and John Keats, and Wordsworth--and our
Sunday evenings were of a happiness to be remembered forever; at
least they were so to me!

If Barty Josselin were on duty on the Sabbath, it was a blank day
for Robert Maurice. For it was not very lively at home--especially
when my father was there. He was the best and kindest man that ever
lived, but his businesslike seriousness about this world, and his
anxiety about the next, and his Scotch Sabbatarianism, were deadly
depressing; combined with the aspect of London on the Lord's
day--London east of Russell Square! Oh, Paris ... Paris ... and the
yellow omnibus that took us both there together, Barty and me, at
eight on a Sunday morning in May or June, and didn't bring us back
to school till fourteen hours later!

I shall never forget one gloomy wintry Sunday--somewhere in 1854 or
5, if I'm not mistaken, towards the end of Barty's career as a

Twice after lunch I had called at Barty's, who was to have been on
duty in barracks or at the Tower that morning; he had not come back;
I called for him at his club, but he hadn't been there either--and I
turned my face eastward and homeward with a sickening sense of
desolate ennui and deep disgust of London for which I could find no
terms that are fit for publication!

And this was not lessened by the bitter reproaches I made myself for
being such a selfish and unworthy son and brother. It was precious
dull at home for my mother and sister--and my place was _there_.

They were just lighting the lamps as I got to the arcade in the
Quadrant--and there I ran against the cheerful Barty. Joy! what a
change in the aspect of everything! It rained light! He pulled a new
book out of his pocket, which he had just borrowed from some fair
lady--and showed it to me. It was called _Maud_.

We dined at Pergolese's, in Rupert Street--and went back to
Barty's--and read the lovely poem out loud, taking it by turns; and
that is the most delightful recollection I have since I left the
Institution F. Brossard!

Occasionally I dined with him "on guard" at St. James's Palace--and
well I could understand all the attractions of his life, so
different from mine, and see what a good fellow he was to come so
often to Brunswick Square, and seem so happy with us.

The reader will conclude that I was a kind of over-affectionate
pestering dull dog, who made this brilliant youth's life a burden to
him. It was really not so; we had very many tastes in common; and
with all his various temptations, he had a singularly constant and
affectionate nature--and was of a Frenchness that made French
thought and talk and commune almost a daily necessity. We nearly
always spoke French when together alone, or with my mother and
sister. It would have seemed almost unnatural not to have done so.

I always feel a special tenderness towards young people whose lives
have been such that those two languages are exactly the same to
them. It means so many things to me. It doubles them in my
estimation, and I seem to understand them through and through.

Nor did he seem to care much for the smart society of which he saw
so much; perhaps the bar sinister may have made him feel less at his
ease in general society than among his intimates and old friends. I
feel sure he took this to heart more than any one would have thought
possible from his careless manner.

He only once alluded directly to this when we were together. I was
speaking to him of the enviable brilliancy of his lot. He looked at
me pensively for a minute or two, and said, in English:

"You've got a kink in your nose, Bob--if it weren't for that you'd
be a deuced good-looking fellow--like me; but you ain't."

"Thanks--anything else?" said I.

"Well, I've got a kink in my birth, you see--and that's as big a
kill-joy as I know. I hate it!"

It _was_ hard luck. He would have made such a splendid Marquis of
Whitby! and done such honor to the proud old family motto:

"Roy ne puis, prince ne daigne, Rohan je suis!"

Instead of which he got himself a signet-ring, and on it he caused
to be engraved a zero within a naught, and round them:

"Rohan ne puis, roi ne daigne. Rien ne suis!"

Soon it became pretty evident that a subtle change was being wrought
in him.

He had quite lost his power of feeling the north, and missed it
dreadfully; he could no longer turn his back-somersault with ease
and safety; he had overcome his loathing for meat, and also his
dislike for sport--he had, indeed, become a very good shot.

But he could still hear and see and smell with all the keenness of a
young animal or a savage. And that must have made his sense of being
alive very much more vivid than is the case with other mortals.

He had also corrected his quick impulsive tendency to slap faces
that were an inch or two higher up than his own. He didn't often
come across one, for one thing--then it would not have been
considered "good form" in her Majesty's Household Brigade.

When he was a boy, as the reader may recollect, he was fond of
drawing lovely female profiles with black hair and an immense black
eye, and gazing at them as he smoked a cigarette and listened to
pretty, light music. He developed a most ardent admiration for
female beauty, and mixed more and more in worldly and fashionable
circles (of which I saw nothing whatever); circles where the
heavenly gift of beauty is made more of, perhaps, than is quite good
for its possessors, whether female or male.

He was himself of a personal beauty so exceptional that incredible
temptations came his way. Aristocratic people all over the world
make great allowance for beauty-born frailties that would spell ruin
and everlasting disgrace for women of the class to which it is my
privilege to belong.

Barty, of course, did not confide his love-adventures to me; in this
he was no Frenchman. But I saw quite enough to know he was more
pursued than pursuing; and what a pursuer, to a man built like that!
no innocent, impulsive young girl, no simple maiden in her
flower--no Elaine.

But a magnificent full-blown peeress, who knew her own mind and had
nothing to fear, for her husband was no better than herself. But for
that, a Guinevere and Vivien rolled into one, _plus_ Messalina!

Nor was she the only light o' love; there are many naughty "grandes
dames de par le monde" whose easy virtue fits them like a silk
stocking, and who live and love pretty much as they please without
loss of caste, so long as they keep clear of any open scandal. It is
one of the privileges of high rank.

Then there were the ladies gay, frankly of the half-world,
these--laughter-loving hetæræ, with perilously soft hearts for such
as Barty Josselin! There was even poor, listless, lazy, languid
Jenny, "Fond of a kiss and fond of a guinea!"

His heart was never touched--of that I feel sure; and he was not vain of
these triumphs; but he was a very reckless youth, a kind of young John
Churchill before Sarah Jennings took him in hand--absolutely non-moral
about such things, rather than immoral.

He grew to be a quite notorious young man about town; and, most
unfortunately for him, Lord (and even Lady) Archibald Rohan were so
fond of him, and so proud, and so amiably non-moral themselves, that
he was left to go as he might.

He also developed some very rowdy tastes indeed--and so did I!

It was the fashion for our golden youth in the fifties to do so.
Every night in the Haymarket there was a kind of noisy saturnalia,
in which golden youths joined hands with youths who were by no means
golden, to give much trouble to the police, and fill the pockets of
the keepers of night-houses--"Bob Croft's," "Kate Hamilton's," "the
Piccadilly Saloon," and other haunts equally well pulled down and
forgotten. It was good, in these regions, to be young and big and
strong like Barty and me, and well versed in the "handling of one's
daddles." I suppose London was the only great city in the world
where such things could be. I am afraid that many strange people of
both sexes called us Bob and Barty; people the mere sight or hearing
of whom would have given my poor dear father fits!

Then there was a little public-house in St. Martin's Lane, kept by
big Ben the prize-fighter. In a room at the top of the house there
used to be much sparring. We both of us took a high degree in the
noble art--especially I, if it be not bragging to say so; mostly on
account of my weight, which was considerable for my age. It was in
fencing that he beat me hollow: he was quite the best fencer I ever
met; the lessons at school of Bonnet's prévôt had borne good fruit
in his case.

Then there were squalid dens frequented by touts and betting-men and
medical students, where people sang and fought and laid the odds and
got very drunk--and where Barty's performances as a vocalist, comic
and sentimental (especially the latter), raised enthusiasm that
seems almost incredible among such a brutalized and hardened crew.

One night he and I and a medical student called Ticklets, who had a
fine bass voice, disguised ourselves as paupers, and went singing
for money about Camden Town and Mornington Crescent and Regent's
Park. It took us about an hour to make eighteen pence. Barty played
the guitar, Ticklets the tambourine, and I the bones. Then we went
to the Haymarket, and Barty made five pounds in no time; most of it
in silver donations from unfortunate women--English, of course--who
are among the softest-hearted and most generous creatures in the

    "O lachrymarum fons!"

I forget what use we made of the money--a good one, I feel sure.

I am sorry to reveal all this, but Barty wished it. Forty years ago
such things did not seem so horrible as they would now, and the word
"bounder" had not been invented.

       *       *       *       *       *

My sister Ida, when about fourteen (1853), became a pupil at the
junior school in the Ladies' College, 48 Bedford Square. She soon
made friends--nice young girls, who came to our house, and it was
much the livelier. I used to hear much of them, and knew them well
before I ever saw them--especially Leah Gibson, who lived in
Tavistock Square, and was Ida's special friend; at last I was quite
anxious to see this paragon.

One morning, as I carried Ida's books on her way to school, she
pointed out to me three girls of her own age, or less, who stood
talking together at the gates of the Foundling Hospital. They were
all three very pretty children--quite singularly so--and became
great beauties; one golden-haired, one chestnut-brown, one
blue-black. The black-haired one was the youngest and the tallest--a
fine, straight, bony child of twelve, with a flat back and square
shoulders; she was very well dressed, and had nice brown boots with
brown elastic sides on arched and straight-heeled slender feet, and
white stockings on her long legs--a fashion in hose that has long
gone out. She also wore a thick plait of black hair all down her
back--another departed mode, and one not to be regretted, I think;
and she swung her books round her as she talked, with easy
movements, like a strong boy.

"That's Leah Gibson," says my sister; "the tall one, with the long
black plait."

Leah Gibson turned round and nodded to my sister and smiled--showing
a delicate narrow face, a clear pale complexion, very beautiful
white pearly teeth between very red lips, and an extraordinary pair
of large black eyes--rather close together--the blackest I ever saw,
but with an expression so quick and penetrating and keen, and yet so
good and frank and friendly, that they positively sent a little warm
thrill through me--though she was only twelve years old, and not a
bit older than her age, and I a fast youth nearly twenty!

And finding her very much to my taste, I said to my sister, just for
fun, "Oh--_that's_ Leah Gibson, is it? then some day Leah Gibson
shall be Mrs. Robert Maurice!"

From which it may be inferred that I looked on Leah Gibson, at the
first sight of her, as likely to become some day an extremely
desirable person.

She did.

The Gibsons lived in a very good house in Tavistock Square. They
seemed very well off. Mrs. Gibson had a nice carriage, which she
kept entirely with her own money. Her father, who was dead, had been
a wealthy solicitor. He had left a large family, and to each of them
property worth £300 a year, and a very liberal allowance of good

Mr. Gibson was in business in the City.


Leah, their only child, was the darling of their hearts and the apple of
their eyes. To dress her beautifully, to give her all the best masters
money could procure, and treat her to every amusement in
London--theatres, the opera, all the concerts and shows there were, and
give endless young parties for her pleasure--all this seemed the
principal interest of their lives.

Soon after my first introduction to Leah, Ida and I received an
invitation to a kind of juvenile festivity at the Gibsons', and
went, and spent a delightful evening. We were received by Mrs.
Gibson most cordially. She was such an extremely pretty person, and
so charmingly dressed, and had such winning, natural, genial
manners, that I fell in love with her at first sight; she was also
very playful and fond of romping; for she was young still, having
married at seventeen.

Her mother, Mrs. Bletchley (who was present), was a Spanish
Jewess--a most magnificent and beautiful old person in splendid
attire, tall and straight, with white hair and thick black eyebrows,
and large eyes as black as night.

In Leah the high Sephardic Jewish type was more marked than in Mrs.
Gibson (who was not Jewish at all in aspect, and took after her
father, the late Mr. Bletchley).

It is a type that sometimes, just now and again, can be so
pathetically noble and beautiful in a woman, so suggestive of
chastity and the most passionate love combined--love conjugal and
filial and maternal--love that implies all the big practical
obligations and responsibilities of human life, that the mere term
"Jewess" (and especially its French equivalent) brings to my mind
some vague, mysterious, exotically poetic image of all I love best
in woman. I find myself dreaming of Rebecca of York, as I used to
dream of her in the English class at Brossard's, where I so pitied
poor Ivanhoe for his misplaced constancy.

If Rebecca at fifty-five, was at all like Mrs. Bletchley, poor old
Sir Wilfred's regrets must have been all that Thackeray made them
out to be in his immortal story of _Rebecca and Rowena_.

Mr. Gibson was a good-looking man, some twelve or fifteen years
older than his wife; his real vocation was to be a low comedian;
this showed itself on my first introduction to him. He informally
winked at me and said:

"Esker voo ker jer dwaw lah vee? Ah! kel Bonnure!"

This idiotic speech (all the French he knew) was delivered in so
droll and natural a manner that I took to him at once. Barty himself
couldn't have been funnier!

Well, we had games of forfeits and danced, and Ida played charming
things by Mendelssohn on the piano, and Leah sang very nicely in a
fine, bold, frank, deep voice, like a choir-boy's, and Mrs. Gibson
danced a Spanish fandango, and displayed feet and ankles of which
she was very proud, and had every right to be; and then Mr. Gibson
played a solo on the flute, and sang "My Pretty Jane"--both badly
enough to be very funny without any conscious effort or straining on
his part. Then we supped, and the food was good, and we were all
very jolly indeed; and after supper Mr. Gibson said to me:

"Now, Mister Parleyvoo--can't _you_ do something to amuse the
company? You're _big_ enough!"

I professed my willingness to do _anything_--and wished I was as
Barty more than ever!

"Well, then," says he--"kneel to the wittiest, bow to the
prettiest--and kiss the one you love best."

This was rather a large order--but I did as well as I could. I went
down on my knees to Mr. Gibson and craved his paternal blessing; and
made my best French bow with my heels together to old Mrs.
Bletchley; and kissed my sister, warmly thanking her in public for
having introduced me to Mrs. Gibson: and as far as mere social
success is worth anything, I was the Barty of that party!

Anyhow, Mr. Gibson conceived for me an admiration he never failed to
express when we met afterwards, and though this was fun, of course,
I had really won his heart.

It is but a humble sort of triumph to crow over--and where does
Barty Josselin come in?


"Well--what do you think of Leah Gibson?" said my sister, as we
walked home together through Torrington Square.

"I think she's a regular stunner," said I--"like her mother and her
grandmother before her, and probably her _great_-grandmother too."

And being a poetical youth, and well up in my Byron, I declaimed:

    "She walks in beauty, like the night
       Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
     And all that's best of dark and bright
       Meet in her aspect and her eyes."...

Old fogy as I am, and still given to poetical quotations, I never
made a more felicitous quotation than that. I little guessed then to
what splendor that bony black-eyed damsel would reach in time.

       *       *       *       *       *

All through this period of high life and low dissipation Barty kept
his unalterable good-humor and high spirits--and especially the
kindly grace of manner and tact and good-breeding that kept him from
ever offending the most fastidious, in spite of his high spirits,
and made him many a poor grateful outcast's friend and darling.

I remember once dining with him at Greenwich in very distinguished
company; I don't remember how I came to be invited--through Barty,
no doubt. He got me many invitations that I often thought it better
not to accept. "Ne sutor ultra crepidam!"

It was a fish dinner, and Barty ate and drank a surprising
amount--and so did I, and liked it very much.

We were all late and hurried for the last train, some twenty of
us--and Barty, Lord Archibald, and I, and a Colonel Walker Lindsay,
who has since become a peer and a Field-Marshal (and is now dead),
were all pushed together into a carriage, already occupied by a
distinguished clergyman and a charming young lady--probably his
daughter; from his dress, he was either a dean or a bishop, and I
sat opposite to him--in the corner.

Barty was very noisy and excited as the train moved off; he was rather
tipsy, in fact--and I was alarmed, on account of the clerical gentleman
and his female companion. As we journeyed on, Barty began to romp and
play the fool and perform fantastic tricks--to the immense delight of
the future Field-Marshal. He twisted two pocket-handkerchiefs into human
figures, one on each hand, and made them sing to each other--like Grisi
and Mario in the _Huguenots_--and clever drivel of that kind. Lord
Archibald and Colonel Lindsay were beside themselves with glee at all
this; they also had dined well.

Then he imitated a poor man fishing in St. James's Park and not
catching any fish. And this really was uncommonly good and true to
life--with wonderful artistic details, that showed keen observation.

I saw that the bishop and his daughter (if such they were) grew
deeply interested, and laughed and chuckled discreetly; the young
lady had a charming expression on her face as she watched the
idiotic Barty, who got more idiotic with every mile--and this was to
be the man who wrote _Sardonyx_!

As the train slowed into the London station, the bishop leant
forward towards me and inquired, in a whisper,

"May I ask the name of your singularly delightful young friend?"

"His name is Barty Josselin," I answered.

"Not of the Grenadier Guards?"


"Oh, indeed! a--yes--I've heard of him--"

And his lordship's face became hard and stern--and soon we all got

Part Fourth

    "La cigale ayant chanté
           Tout l'été,
     Se trouva fort dépourvue
     Quand la bise fut venue."...


Sometimes I went to see Lord and Lady Archibald, who lived in
Clarges Street; and Lady Archibald was kind enough to call on my
mother, who was charmed with her, and returned her call in due time.

Also, at about this period (1853) my uncle Charles (Captain Blake,
late 17th Lancers), who had been Lord Runswick's crony twenty years
before, patched up some feud he had with my father, and came to see
us in Brunswick Square.

He had just married a charming girl, young enough to be his

I took him to see Barty, and they became fast friends. My uncle
Charles was a very accomplished man, and spoke French as well as any
of us; and Barty liked him, and it ended, oddly enough, in Uncle
Charles becoming Lord Whitby's land-agent and living in St. Hilda's
Terrace, Whitby.

He was a very good fellow and a thorough man of the world, and was
of great service to Barty in many ways. But, alas and alas! he was
not able to prevent or make up the disastrous quarrel that happened
between Barty and Lord Archibald, with such terrible results to my
friend--to both.

It is all difficult even to hint at--but some of it must be more
than hinted at.

Lord Archibald, like his nephew, was a very passionate admirer of
lovely woman. He had been for many years a faithful and devoted
husband to the excellent Frenchwoman who brought him wealth--and
such affection! Then a terrible temptation came in his way. He fell
in love with a very beautiful and fascinating lady, whose birth and
principles and antecedents were alike very unfortunate, and Barty
was mixed up in all this: it's the saddest thing I ever heard.

The beautiful lady conceived for Barty one of those frantic passions
that must lead to somebody's ruin; it led to his; but he was never
to blame, except for the careless indiscretion which allowed of his
being concerned in the miserable business at all, and to this
frantic passion he did not respond.

"_Spretæ injuria formæ._"

So at least _she_ fancied; it was not so. Barty was no laggard in
love; but he dearly loved his uncle Archie, and was loyal to him all

    "His honor rooted in dishonor stood,
     And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true."

Where he was unfaithful was to his beloved and adoring Lady
Archibald--his second mother--at miserable cost of undying remorse
to himself for ever having sunk to become Lord Archibald's confidant
and love-messenger, and bearer of nosegays and _billets doux_, and
singer of little French songs. He was only twenty, and thought of
such things as jokes; he had lived among some of the pleasantest,
best-bred, and most corrupt people in London.

The beautiful frail lady told the most infamous lies, and stuck to
them through thick and thin. The story is not new; it's as old as
the Pharaohs. And Barty and his uncle quarrelled beyond recall. The
boy was too proud even to defend himself, beyond one simple denial.

Then another thing happened. Lady Archibald died, quite suddenly, of
peritonitis--fortunately in ignorance of what was happening, and
with her husband and daughter and Barty round her bedside at the
end. She died deceived and happy.

Lord Archibald was beside himself with grief; but in six months he
married the beautiful lady, and went to the bad altogether--went
under, in fact; and Daphne, his daughter of fourteen or fifteen, was
taken by the Whitbys.

So now Barty, thoroughly sick of smart society, found himself in an
unexpected position--without an allowance, in a crack regiment, and
never a penny to look forward to!

For old Lord Whitby, who loved him, was a poor man with a large
family; and every penny of Lady Archibald's fortune that didn't go
to her husband and daughter went back to her own family of
Lonlay-Savignac. She had made no will--no provision for her beloved,
her adopted son!

So Barty never went to the Crimea, after all, but sold out, and
found himself the possessor of seven or eight hundred pounds--most
of which he owed--and with the world before him; but I am going too

       *       *       *       *       *

In the winter of 1853, just before Christmas, my father fitted up for me
a chemical laboratory at the top of the fine old house in Barge Yard,
Bucklersbury, where his wine business was carried on, a splendid
mansion, with panelled rooms and a carved-oak staircase--once the abode
of some Dick Whittington, no doubt a Lord Mayor of London; and I began
my professional career, which consisted in analyzing anything I could
get to analyze for hire, from a sample of gold or copper ore to a
poisoned stomach.

Lord Whitby very kindly sent me different samples of soil from
different fields on his estate, and I analyzed them carefully and
found them singularly like each other. I don't think the estate
benefited much by my scientific investigation. It was my first job,
and brought me twenty pounds (out of which I bought two beautiful
fans--one for my sister, the other for Leah Gibson--and got a new
evening suit for myself at Barty's tailor's).

When this job of mine was finished I had a good deal of time on my
hands, and read many novels and smoked many pipes, as I sat by my
chemical stove and distilled water, and dried chlorate of potash to
keep the damp out of my scales, and toasted cheese, and fried
sausages, and mulled Burgundy, and brewed nice drinks, hot or
cold--a specialty of mine.

I also made my laboratory a very pleasant place. My father wouldn't
permit a piano, nor could I afford one; but I smuggled in a guitar
(for Barty), and also a concertina, which I could play a little
myself. Barty often came with friends of his, of whom my father did
not approve--mostly Guardsmen; also friends of my own--medical
students, and one or two fellow-chemists, who were serious, and
pleased my father. We often had a capital time: chemical experiments
and explosions, and fearful stinks, and poisoned waters of
enchanting hue; also oysters, lobsters, dressed crab for lunch--and
my Burgundy was good, I promise you, whether white or red!

[Illustration: SOLITUDE]

We also had songs and music of every description. Barty's taste had
improved. He could sing Beethoven's "Adelaida" in English, German,
and Italian, and Schubert's "Serenade" in French--quite charmingly,
to his own ingenious accompaniment on the guitar.

We had another vocalist, a little Hebrew art-student, with a
heavenly tenor (I've forgotten his name); and Ticklets, the bass;
and a Guardsman who could yodel and imitate a woman's voice--one
Pepys, whom Barty loved because he was a giant, and, according to
Barty, "the handsomest chap in London."

These debauches generally happened when my father was
abroad--always, in fact. I'm greatly ashamed of it all now; even
then my heart smote me heavily at times when I thought of the pride
and pleasure he took in all my scientific appliances, and the money
they cost him--twenty guineas for a pair of scales! Poor dear old
man! he loved to weigh things in them--a feather, a minute crumb of
cork, an infinitesimal wisp of cotton wool!...

However, I've made it all up to him since in many ways; and he has
told me that I have been a good son, after all! And that is good to
think of now that I am older than he was when he died!

       *       *       *       *       *

One fine morning, before going to business, I escorted my sister to
Bedford Square, calling for Leah Gibson on the way; as we walked up
Great Russell Street (that being the longest way round I could think
of), we met Barty, looking as fresh as a school-boy, and resplendent
as usual. I remember he had on a long blue frock-coat, check
trousers, an elaborate waistcoat and scarf, and white hat--as was
the fashion--and that he looked singularly out of place (and
uncommonly agreeable to the eye) in such an austere and learned

He was coming to call for me in Brunswick Square.

My sister introduced him to her friend, and he looked down at Leah
with a surprised glance of delicate fatherly admiration--he might
have been fifty.

Then we left the young ladies and went off together citywards; my
father was abroad.

"By Jove, what a stunner that girl is! I'm blest if I don't marry
her some day--you see if I don't!"

"That's just what _I_ mean to do," said I. And we had a good laugh
at the idea of two such desperadoes, as we thought ourselves,
talking like this about a little school-girl.

"We'll toss up," says Barty; and we did, and he won.

This, I remember, was before his quarrel with Lord Archibald. She
was then about fourteen, and her subtle and singular beauty was just
beginning to make itself felt.

I never knew till long after how deep had been the impression
produced by this glimpse of a mere child on a fast young man about
town--or I should not have been amused. For there were times when I
myself thought quite seriously of Leah Gibson, and what she might be
in the long future! She looked a year or two older than she really
was, being very tall and extremely sedate.

Also, both my father and mother had conceived such a liking for her
that they constantly talked of the possibility of our falling in
love with each other some day. Castles in Spain!

As for me, my admiration for the child was immense, and my respect
for her character unbounded; and I felt myself such a base unworthy
brute that I couldn't bear to think of myself in such a
connection--until I had cleansed myself heart and soul (which would
take time)! And as for showing by my manner to her that such an idea
had ever crossed my mind, the thought never entered my head.

She was just my dear sister's devoted friend; her petticoat hem was
still some inches from the ground, and her hair in a plait all down
her back....

Girlish innocence and purity incarnate--that is what she seemed; and
what she was. "La plus forte des forces est un coeur innocent," said
Victor Hugo--and if you translate this literally into English, it
comes to exactly the same, both in rhythm and sense.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Barty sold out, he first thought he would like to go on the
stage, but it turned out that he was too tall to play anything but
serious footmen.

Then he thought he would be a singer. We used to go to the opera at
Drury Lane, where they gave in English a different Italian opera
every night;--and this was always followed by _Acis and Galatea_.

We got our seats in the stalls every evening for a couple of weeks,
through the kindness of Mr. Hamilton Braham, whom Barty knew, and
who played Polyphemus in Handel's famous serenata.

I remember our first night; they gave _Masaniello_, which I had
never seen; and when the tenor sang, "Behold how brightly breaks the
morning," it came on us both as a delicious surprise--it was such a
favorite song at Brossard's--"_amis! la matinée est belle_...."
Indeed, it was one of the songs Barty sang on the boulevard for the
poor woman, six or seven years back.

The tenor, Mr. Elliot Galer, had a lovely voice; and that was a
moment never to be forgotten.

Then came _Acis and Galatea_, which was so odd and old-fashioned we
could scarcely sit it out.

[Illustration: "'PILE OU FACE--HEADS OR TAILS?'"]

Next night, _Lucia_--charming; then again _Acis and Galatea_,
because we had nowhere else to go.

"Tiens, tiens!" says Barty, as the lovers sang "the flocks shall
leave the mountains"; "c'est diantrement joli, ça!--écoute!"

Next night, _La Sonnambula_--then again _Acis and Galatea_.

"Mais, nom d'une pipe--elle est _divine_, cette musique-là!" says

And the nights after we could scarcely sit out the Italian opera
that preceded what we have looked upon ever since as among the
divinest music in the world.

So one must not judge music at a first hearing; nor poetry; nor
pictures at first sight; unless one be poet or painter or musician
one's self--not even then! I may live to love thee yet, oh

Lucy Escott, Fanny Huddart, Elliot Galer, and Hamilton Braham--that
was the cast; I hear their voices now....

One morning Hamilton Braham tried Barty's voice on the empty stage
at St. James's Theatre--made him sing "When other lips."

"Sing _out_, man--sing _out_!" said the big bass. And Barty shouted
his loudest--a method which did not suit him. I sat in the pit, with
half a dozen Guardsmen, who were deeply interested in Barty's
operatic aspirations.

It turned out that Barty was neither tenor nor barytone; and that
his light voice, so charming in a room, would never do for the
operatic stage; although his figure, in spite of his great height,
would have suited heroic parts so admirably.

Besides, three or four years' training in Italy were needed--a
different production altogether.

So Barty gave up this idea and made up his mind to be an artist. He
got permission to work in the British Museum, and drew the
"Discobolus," and sent his drawing to the Royal Academy, in the hope
of being admitted there as a student. He was not.

Then an immense overwhelming homesickness for Paris came over him,
and he felt he must go and study art there, and succeed or perish.

My father talked to him like a father, my mother like a mother; we
all hung about him and entreated. He was as obdurate as Tennyson's
sailor-boy whom the mermaiden forewarned so fiercely!

He was even offered a handsome appointment in the London house of
Vougeot-Conti & Co.

But his mind was made up, and to my sorrow, and the sorrow of all
who knew him, he fixed the date of his departure for the 2d of May
(1856),--this being the day after a party at the Gibsons'--a young
dance in honor of Leah's fifteenth birthday, on the 1st--and to
which my sister had procured him an invitation.

He had never been to the Gibsons' before. They belonged to a world
so different to anything he had been accustomed to--indeed, to a
class that he then so much disliked and despised (both as
ex-Guardsman and as the descendant of French toilers of the sea, who
hate and scorn the bourgeois)--that I was curious to see how he
would bear himself there; and rather nervous, for it would have
grieved me that he should look down on people of whom I was getting
very fond. It was his theory that all successful business people
were pompous and purse-proud and vulgar.

I admit that in the fifties we very often were.

There may perhaps be a few survivals of that period: _old_ nouveaux
riches, who are still modestly jocose on the subject of each other's
millions when they meet, and indulge in pompous little pleasantries
about their pet economics, and drop a pompous little _h_ now and
then, and pretend they only did it for fun. But, dear me, there are
other things to be vulgar about in this world besides money and
uncertain aspirates.

If to be pompous and pretentious and insincere is to be vulgar, I really
think the vulgar of our time are not these old plutocrats--not even
their grandsons, who hunt and shoot and yacht and swagger with the
best--but those solemn little prigs who have done well at school or
college, and become radicals and agnostics before they've even had time
to find out what men and women are made of, or what sex they belong to
themselves (if any), and loathe all fun and sport and athletics, and
rave about pictures and books and music they don't understand, and would
pretend to despise if they did--things that were not even _meant_ to be
understood. It doesn't take three generations to make a prig--worse

At the Gibsons' there was neither pompousness nor insincerity nor
pretension of any kind, and therefore no real vulgarity. It is true
they were a little bit noisy there sometimes, but only in fun.

When we arrived at that most hospitable house the two pretty
drawing-rooms were already crammed with young people, and the
dancing was in full swing.

I presented Barty to Mrs. Gibson, who received him with her usual
easy cordiality, just as she would have received one of her
husband's clerks, or the Prime Minister; or the Prince Consort
himself, for that matter. But she looked up into his face with such
frank unabashed admiration that I couldn't help laughing--nor could

She presented him to Mr. Gibson, who drew himself back and folded
his arms and frowned; then suddenly, striking a beautiful stage
attitude of surprised emotion, with his hand on his heart, he

"Oh! Monsewer! Esker-voo ker jer dwaw lah vee?--ah! kel bonnure!"

And this so tickled Barty that he forgot his manners and went into
peals of laughter. And from that moment I ceased to exist as the
bright particular star in Mr. Gibson's firmament of eligible young
men: for in spite of the kink in my nose, and my stolid gravity,
which was really and merely the result of my shyness, he had always
looked upon me as an exceptionally presentable, proper, and goodly
youth, and a most exemplary--that is, if my sister was to be trusted
in the matter; for she was my informant.

I'm afraid Barty was not so immediately popular with the young
cavaliers of the party--but all came right in due time. For after
supper, which was early, Barty played the fool with Mr. Gibson, and
taught him how to do a mechanical wax figure, of which he himself
was the showman; and the laughter, both baritone and soprano, might
have been heard in Russell Square. Then they sang an extempore
Italian duet together which was screamingly droll--and so forth.

Leah distinguished herself as usual by being attentive to the
material wants of the company: comfortable seats, ices, syrups,
footstools for mammas, and wraps; safety from thorough draughts for
grandpapas--the inherited hospitality of the clan of Gibson took
this form with the sole daughter of their house and home; she had no
"parlor tricks."

We remained the latest. It was a full moon, or nearly so--as usual
on a balcony; for I remember standing on the balcony with Leah.

A belated Italian organ-grinder stopped beneath us and played a tune
from _I Lombardi_, called "La mia letizia." Leah's hair was done up
for the first time--in two heavy black bands that hid her little
ears and framed her narrow chinny face--with a yellow bow plastered
on behind. Such was the fashion then, a hideous fashion enough--but
we knew no better. To me she looked so lovely in her long white
frock--long for the first time--that Tavistock Square became a broad
Venetian moonlit lagoon, and the dome of University College an old
Italian church, and "La mia letizia" the song of Adria's gondolier.

I asked her what she thought of Barty.

"I really don't know," she said. "He's not a bit romantic, _is_ he?"

"No; but he's very handsome. Don't you think so?"

"Oh yes, indeed--much too handsome for a man. It seems such waste.
Why, I now remember seeing him when I was quite a little girl, three
or four years ago, at the Duke of Wellington's funeral. He had his
bearskin on. Papa pointed him out to us, and said he looked like
such a pretty girl! And we all wondered who he could be! And so sad
he looked! I suppose it was for the Duke.

"I couldn't think where I'd seen him before, and now I remember--and
there's a photograph of him in a stall at the Crystal Palace. Have
you seen it? Not that he looks like a girl now! Not a bit! I suppose
you're very fond of him? Ida is! She talks as much about Mr.
Josselin as she does about you! _Barty_, she calls him."

"Yes, indeed; he's like our brother. We were boys at school together
in France. My sister calls him _thee_ and _thou_; in French, you


"And was he always like that--funny and jolly and good-natured?"

"Always; he hasn't changed a bit."

"And is he very sincere?"

Just then Barty came on to the balcony: it was time to go. My sister
had been fetched away already (in her gondola).

So Barty made his farewells, and bent his gallant, irresistible look
of mirthful chivalry and delicate middle-aged admiration on Leah's
upturned face, and her eyes looked up more piercing and blacker than
ever; and in each of them a little high light shone like a point of
interrogation--the reflection of some white window-curtain, I
suppose; and I felt cold all down my back.

(Barty's daughter, Mary Trevor, often sings a little song of De
Musset's. It is quite lovely, and begins:

    "Beau chevalier qui partez pour la guerre,
               Qu'allez-vous faire
               Si loin d'ici?
     Voyez-vous pas que la nuit est profonde,
               Et que le monde
               N'est que souci?"

It is called "La Chanson de Barberine," and I never hear it but I
think of that sweet little white virginal _point d'interrogation_,
and Barty going away to France.)

Then he thanked Mrs. Gibson and said pretty things, and finally called
Mr. Gibson dreadful French fancy-names: "Cascamèche--moutardier du pape,
tromblon-bolivard, vieux coquelicot"; to each of which the delighted Mr.
G. answered:

"Voos ayt oon ôter--voos ayt oon ôter!"

And then Barty whisked himself away in a silver cloud of glory. A
good exit!

Outside was a hansom waiting, with a carpet-bag on the top, and we
got into it and drove up to Hampstead Heath, to some little inn
called the Bull and Bush, near North-end.

Barty lit his pipe, and said:

"What capital people! Hanged if they're not the nicest people I ever

"Yes," said I.

And that's all that was said during that long drive.

At North-end we found two or three other hansoms, and Pepys and
Ticklets and the little Hebrew tenor art student whose name I've
forgotten, and several others.

We had another supper, and made a night of it. There was a piano in
a small room opening on to a kind of little terrace, with geraniums,
over a bow-window. We had music and singing of all sorts. Even _I_
sang--"The Standard-bearer"--and rather well. My sister had coached
me; but I did not obtain an encore.

The next day dawned, and Barty had a wash and changed his clothes,
and we walked all over Hampstead Heath, and saw London lying in a
dun mist, with the dome and gilded cross of St. Paul's rising into
the pale blue dawn; and I thought what a beastly place London would
be without Barty--but that Leah was there still, safe and sound
asleep in Tavistock Square!

Then back to the inn for breakfast. Barty, as usual, fresh as paint.
Happy Barty, off to Paris!

And then we all drove down to London Bridge to see him safe into the
Boulogne steamer. All his luggage was on board. His late
soldier-servant was there--a splendid fellow, chosen for his length
and breadth as well as his fidelity; also the Snowdrop, who was
lachrymose and in great grief. It was a most affectionate farewell
all round.

"Good-bye, Bob. _I_ won that toss--_didn't_ I?"

Oddly enough, _I_ was thinking of that, and didn't like it.

"What rot! it's only a joke, old fellow!" said Barty.

All this about an innocent little girl just fifteen, the daughter of
a low-comedy John Gilpin: a still somewhat gaunt little girl, whose
budding charms of color, shape, and surface were already such that
it didn't matter whether she were good or bad, gentle or simple,
rich or poor, sensible or an utter fool.

C'est toujours comme ça!

We watched the steamer pick its sunny way down the Thames, with
Barty waving his hat by the man at the wheel; and I walked westward
with the little Hebrew artist, who was so affected at parting with
his hero that he had tears in his lovely voice. It was not till I
had complimented him on his wonderful B-flat that he got consoled;
and he talked about himself, and his B-flat, and his middle G, and
his physical strength, and his eye for color, all the way from the
Mansion House to the Foundling Hospital; when we parted, and he went
straight to his drawing-board at the British Museum--an anticlimax!

I found my mother and sister at their late breakfast, and was
scolded; and I told them Barty had got off, and wouldn't come back
for long--it might not be for years!

"Thank Heaven!" said my dear mother, and I was not pleased.

Says my sister:

"Do you know, he's actually stolen Leah's photograph, that she gave
me for my birthday. He asked me for it and I wouldn't give it
him--and it's gone!"

Then I washed and put on my work-a-day clothes, and went straight to
Barge Yard, Bucklersbury, and made myself a bed on the floor with my
great-coat, and slept all day.

       *       *       *       *       *

Oh heavens! what a dull book this would be, and how dismally it
would drag its weary length along, if it weren't all about the
author of _Sardonyx_!

But is there a lost corner anywhere in this planet where English is
spoken (or French) in which _The Martian_ won't be bought and
treasured and spelt over and over again like a novel by Dickens or
Scott (or Dumas)--for Josselin's dear sake! What a fortune my
publishers would make if I were not a man of business and they were
not the best and most generous publishers in the world! And all
Josselin's publishers--French, English, German, and what not--down
to modern Sanscrit! What millionaires--if it hadn't been for this
little busy bee of a Bob Maurice!

Poor Barty! I am here! à bon chat, bon rat!

And what on earth do _I_ want a fortune for? Barty's dead, and I've
got so much more than I need, who am of a frugal mind--and what I've
got is all going to little Josselins, who have already got so much
more than _they_ need, what with their late father and me; and my
sister, who is a widow and childless, and "riche à millions" too!
and cares for nobody in all this wide world but little Josselins,
who don't care for money in the least, and would sooner work for
their living--even break stones on the road--anything sooner than
loaf and laze and loll through life. We all have to give most of it
away--not that I need proclaim it from the house-tops! It is but a
dull and futile hobby, giving away to those who deserve; they soon
leave off deserving.

How fortunate that so much money is really wanted by people who
don't deserve it any more than I do; and who, besides, are so weak
and stupid and lazy and honest--or so incurably dishonest--that they
can't make it for themselves! I have to look after a good many of
these people. Barty was fond of them, honest or not. They are so
incurably prolific; and so was he, poor dear boy! but, oh, the
difference! Grapes don't grow on thorns, nor figs on thistles!

I'm a thorn, alas! in my own side, more often than not--and a
thistle in the sides of a good many donkeys, whom I feed because
they're too stupid or too lazy to feed themselves! But at least I
know my place, and the knowledge is more bother to me than all my
money, and the race of Maurice will soon be extinct.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Barty went to foreign parts, on the 2d of May, 1856, I didn't
trouble myself about such questions as these.

Life was so horribly stale in London without Barty that I became a
quite exemplary young man when I woke up from that long nap on the
floor of my laboratory in Barge Yard, Bucklersbury; a reformed
character: from sheer grief, I really believe!

I thought of many things--ugly things--very ugly things indeed--and
meant to have done with them. I thought of some very handsome things
too--a pair of beautiful crown-jewels, each rare as the black
tulip--and in each of them a bright little sign like this:?

I don't believe I ever gave my father another bad quarter of an hour
from that moment. I even went to church on Sunday mornings quite
regularly; not his own somewhat severe place of worship, it is true!
But the Foundling Hospital. There, in the gallery, would I sit with
my sister, and listen to Miss Dolby and Miss Louisa Pyne and Mr.
Lawler the bass--and a tenor and alto whose names I cannot recall;
and I thought they sang as they ought to have sung, and was deeply
moved and comforted--more than by any preachments in the world; and
just in the opposite gallery sat Leah with her mother; and I grew
fond of nice clean little boys and girls who sing pretty hymns in
unison; and afterwards I watched them eat their roast beef, small
mites of three and four or five, some of them, and thought how
touching it all was--I don't know why! Love or grief? or that touch
of nature that makes the whole world kin at about 1 P.M. on Sunday?

One would think that Barty had exerted a bad influence on me, since
he seems to have kept me out of all this that was so sweet and new
and fresh and wholesome!

He would have been just as susceptible to such impressions as I;
even more so, if the same chance had arisen for him--for he was
singularly fond of children, the smaller and the poorer the better,
even gutter children! and their poor mothers loved him, he was so
jolly and generous and kind.

Sometimes I got a letter from him in Blaze, my father's shorthand
cipher; it was always brief and bright and hopeful, and full of
jokes and funny sketches. And I answered him in Blaze that was long
and probably dull.

All that I will tell of him now is not taken from his Blaze letters,
but from what he has told me later, by word of mouth--for he was as
fond of talking of himself as I of listening--since he was droll and
sincere and without guile or vanity; and would have been just as
sympathetic a listener as I, if I had cared to talk about Mr. Robert
Maurice, of Barge Yard, Bucklersbury. Besides, I am good at hearing
between the words and reading between the lines, and all that--and
love to exercise this faculty.

       *       *       *       *       *

Well, he reached Paris in due time, and took a small bedroom on a
third floor in the Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière--over a cheap
hatter's--opposite the Conservatoire de Musique.

On the first night he was awoke by a terrible invasion--such
malodorous swarms of all sizes, from a tiny brown speck to a
full-grown lentil, that they darkened his bed; and he slept on the
tiled floor after making an island of himself by pouring cold water
all round him as a kind of moat; and so he slept for a week of
nights, until he had managed to poison off most of these invaders
with _poudre insecticide_ ... "mort aux punaises!"

In the daytime he first of all went for a swim at the Passy
baths--an immense joy, full of the ghosts of bygone times; then he
would spend the rest of his day revisiting old haunts--often sitting
on the edge of the stone fountain in the rond-point of the Avenue du
Prince Impérial, or de l'Impératrice, or whatever it was--to gaze
comfortably at the outside of the old school, which was now a
pensionnat de demoiselles: soon to be pulled down and make room for
a new house altogether. He did not attempt to invade these precincts
of maiden innocence; but gazed and gazed, and remembered and
realized and dreamt: it all gave him unspeakable excitement, and a
strange tender wistful melancholy delight for which there is no
name. Je connais ça! I also, ghostlike, have paced round the haunts
of my childhood.

When the joy of this faded, as it always must when indulged in too
freely, he amused himself by sitting in his bedroom and painting
Leah's portrait, enlarged and in oils; partly from the very vivid
image he had preserved of her in his mind, partly from the stolen
photograph. At first he got it very like; then he lost all the
likeness and could not recover it; and he worked and worked till he
got stupid over it, and his mental image faded quite away.

But for a time this minute examination of the photograph (through a
powerful lens he bought on purpose), and this delving search into
his own deep consciousness of her, into his keen remembrance of
every detail of feature and color and shade of expression, made him
realize and idealize and foresee what the face might be some
day--and what its owner might become.

And a horror of his life in London came over him like a revelation--a
blast--a horrible surprise! Mere sin is ugly when it's no more; and _so_
beastly to remember, unless the sinner be thoroughly acclimatized; and
Barty was only twenty-two, and hated deceit and cruelty in any form. Oh,
poor, weak, frail fellow-sinner--whether Vivien or Guinevere! How sadly
unjust that loathing and satiety and harsh male contempt should kill
man's ruth and pity for thee, that wast so kind to man! What a hellish

Poor Barty hadn't the ghost of a notion how to set to work about
becoming a painter, and didn't know a soul in Paris he cared to go
and consult, although there were many people he might have
discovered whom he had known: old school-fellows, and friends of the
Archibald Rohans--who would have been only too glad.

So he took to wandering listlessly about, lunching and dining at
cheap suburban restaurants, taking long walks, sitting on benches,
leaning over parapets, and longing to tell people who he was, his
age, how little money he'd got, what lots of friends he had in
England, what a nice little English girl he knew, whose portrait he
didn't know how to paint--any idiotic nonsense that came into his
head, so at least he might talk about something or somebody that
interested him.

There is no city like Paris, no crowd like a Parisian crowd, to make
you feel your solitude if you are alone in its midst!

At night he read French novels in bed and drank eau sucrée and
smoked till he was sleepy; then he cunningly put out his light, and
lit it again in a quarter of an hour or so, and exploded what
remained of the invading hordes as they came crawling down the wall
from above. Their numbers were reduced at last; they were
disappearing. Then he put out his candle for good, and went to sleep
happy--having at least scored for once in the twenty-four hours.
Mort aux punaises!

Twice he went to the Opéra Comique, and saw _Richard Coeur de Lion_
and _le Pré aux Clercs_ from the gallery, and was disappointed, and
couldn't understand why _he_ shouldn't sing as well as that--he
thought he could sing much better, poor fellow! he had a delightful
voice, and charm, and the sense of tune and rhythm, and could please
quite wonderfully--but he had no technical knowledge whatever, and
couldn't be depended upon to sing a song twice the same! He trusted
to the inspiration of the moment--like an amateur.

Of course he had to be very economical, even about candle ends, and
almost liked such economy for a change; but he got sick of his
loneliness, beyond expression--he was a fish out of water.

Then he took it into his head to go and copy a picture at the
Louvre--an old master; in this he felt he could not go wrong. He
obtained the necessary permission, bought a canvas six feet high,
and sat himself before a picture by Nicolas Poussin, I think: a
group of angelic women carrying another woman though the air up to

They were not very much to his taste, but more so than any others.
His chief notion about women in pictures was that they should be
very beautiful--since they cannot make themselves agreeable in any
other way; and they are not always so in the works of the great
masters. At least, _he_ thought not. These are matters of taste, of

He had no notion of how to divide his canvas into squares--a device
by which one makes it easier to get the copy into proper proportion,
it seems. He began by sketching the head of the principal woman
roughly in the middle of his canvas, and then he wanted to begin
painting it at once--he was so impatient.

Students, female students especially, came and interested themselves
in his work, and some _rapins_ asked him questions, and tried to
help him and give him tips. But the more they told him, the more
helpless and hopeless he grew. He soon felt conscious he was
becoming quite a funny man again--a centre of interest--in a new
line; but it gave him no pleasure whatever.

After a week of this mistaken drudgery he sat despondent one
afternoon on a bench in the Champs Élysées and watched the gay
people, and thought himself very down on his luck; he was tired and
hot and miserable--it was the beginning of July. If he had known
how, he would almost have shed tears. His loneliness was not to be
borne, and his longing to feel once more the north had become a
chronic ache.

A tall, thin, shabby man came and sat by his side, and made himself
a cigarette, and hummed a tune--a well-known quartier-latin
song--about "Mon Aldegonde, ma blonde," and "Ma Rodogune, ma brune."

Barty just glanced at this jovial person and found he didn't look
jovial at all, but rather sad and seedy and out at elbows--by no
means of the kind that the fair Aldegonde or her dark sister would
have much to say to.

Also that he wore very strong spectacles, and that his brown eyes,
when turned Barty's way, vibrated with a quick, tremulous motion and
sideways, as if they had the "gigs."

Much moved and excited, Barty got up and put out his hand to the
stranger, and said:

"Bonjour, Monsieur Bonzig! comment allez-vous?"

Bonzig opened his eyes at this well-dressed Briton (for Barty had
clothes to last him a French lifetime).

"Pardonnez-moi, monsieur--mais je n'ai pas l'honneur de vous

"Je m'appelle Josselin--de chez Brossard!"

"Ah! Mon Dieu, mon cher, mon très-cher!" said Bonzig, and got up and
seized Barty's both hands--and all but hugged him.

"Mais quel bonheur de vous revoir! Je pense à vous si souvent, et à
Ouittebé! comme vous êtes changé--et quel beau garçon vous êtes! Qui
vous aurait reconnu! Dieu de Dieu--c'est un rêve! Je n'en reviens
pas!" etc., etc....

And they walked off together, and told the other each an epitome of
his history since they parted; and dined together cheaply, and spent
a happy evening walking up and down the boulevards, and smoking many
cigarettes--from the Madeleine to the Porte St.-Martin and
back--again and again.

[Illustration: "'BONJOUR, MONSIEUR BONZIG'"]

"Non, mon cher Josselin," said Bonzig, in answer to a question of
Barty's--"non, I hare not yet seen the sea ..; it will come in time. But
at least I am no longer a damned usher (un sacré pion d'études); I am an
artist--un peintre de marines--at last! It is a happy existence. I fear
my talent is not very imposing, but my perseverance is exceptional, and
I am only forty-five. Anyhow, I am able to support myself--not in
splendor, certainly; but my wants are few and my health is perfect. I
will put you up to many things, my dear boy.... We will storm the
citadel of fame together...."

Bonzig had a garret somewhere, and painted in the studio of a
friend, not far from Barty's lodging. This friend, one Lirieux, was
a very clever young man--a genius, according to Bonzig. He drew
illustrations on wood with surprising quickness and facility and
verve, and painted little oil-pictures of sporting life--a garde
champêtre in a wood with his dog, or with his dog on a dusty road,
or crossing a stream, or getting over a stile, and so forth. The dog
was never left out; and these things he would sell for twenty,
thirty, even fifty francs. He painted very quick and very well. He
was also a capital good fellow, industrious and cultivated and
refined, and full of self-respect.

Next to his studio he had a small bedroom which he shared with a
younger brother, who had just got a small government appointment
that kept him at work all day, in some ministère. In this studio
Bonzig painted his marines--still helping himself from _La France
Maritime_, as he used to do at Brossard's.

He was good at masts and cordage against an evening sky--"l'heure où
le jaune de Naples rentre dans la nature," as he called it. He was
also excellent at foam, and far-off breakers, and sea-gulls, but
very bad at the human figure--sailors and fishermen and their wives.
Sometimes Lirieux would put one in for him with a few dabs.

As soon as Bonzig had finished a picture, which didn't take very
long, he carried it round, still wet, to the small dealers, bearing
it very carefully aloft, so as not to smudge it. Sometimes (if there
were a sailor by Lirieux) he would get five or even ten francs for
it; and then it was "Mon Aldegonde" with him all the rest of the
day; for success always took the form, in his case, of nasally
humming that amorous refrain.

But it very often happened that he was dumb, poor fellow--no supper,
no song!

Lirieux conceived such a liking for Barty that he insisted on taking
him into his studio as a pupil-assistant, and setting him to draw
things under his own eye; and Barty would fill Bonzig's French sea
pieces with Whitby fishermen, and Bonzig got to sing "Mon Aldegonde"
much oftener than before.

And chumming with these two delightful men, Barty grew to know a
clean, quiet happiness which more than made up for lost past
splendors and dissipations and gay dishonor. He wasn't even funny;
they wouldn't have understood it. Well-bred Frenchmen don't
understand English fun--not even in the quartier latin, as a general
rule. Not that it's too subtle for them; _that's_ not why!

Thus pleasantly August wore itself away, Bonzig and Barty nearly
always dining together for about a franc apiece, including the
waiter, and not badly. Bonzig knew all the cheap eating-houses in
Paris, and what each was specially renowned for--"bonne friture,"
"fricassée de lapin," "pommes sautées," "soupe aux choux," etc.,

Then, after dinner, a long walk and talk and cigarettes--or they
would look in at a café chantant, a bal de barrière, the gallery of
a cheap theatre--then a bock outside a café--et bonsoir la

On September the 1st, Lirieux and his brother went to see their
people in the south, leaving the studio to Bonzig and Barty, who
made the most of it, though greatly missing the genial young
painter, both as a companion and a master and guide.

One beautiful morning Bonzig called for Barty at his crémerie, and
proposed they should go by train to some village near Paris and
spend a happy day in the country, lunching on bread and wine and
sugar at some little roadside inn. Bonzig made a great deal of this
lunch. It had evidently preoccupied him.

Barty was only too delighted. They went on the impériale of the
Versailles train and got out at Ville d'Avray, and found the kind of
little pothouse they wanted. And Barty had to admit that no better
lunch for the price could be than "small blue wine" sweetened with
sugar, and a hunch of bread sopped in it.

Then they had a long walk in pretty woods and meadows, sketching by
the way, chatting to laborers and soldiers and farm-people, smoking
endless cigarettes of caporal; and finally they got back to Paris
the way they came--so hungry that Barty proposed they should treat
themselves for once to a "prix-fixe" dinner at Carmagnol's, in the
Passage Choiseul, where they gave you hors-d'oeuvres, potage, three
courses and dessert and a bottle of wine, for two francs fifty--and
everything scrupulously clean.

So to the Passage Choiseul they went; but just on the threshold of
the famous restaurant (which filled the entire arcade with its
appetizing exhalations) Bonzig suddenly remembered, to his great
regret, that close by there lived a young married couple of the name
of Lousteau, who were great friends of his, and who expected him to
dine with them at least once a week.

"I haven't been near them for a fortnight, mon cher, and it is just
their dinner hour. I am afraid I must really just run in and eat an
_aile de poulet_ and a _pêche au vin_ with them, and give them of my
news, or they will be mortally offended. I'll be back with you just
when you are '_entre la poire et le fromage_'--so, sans adieu!" and
he bolted.

Barty went in and selected his menu; and waiting for his
hors-d'oeuvre, he just peeped out of the door and looked up and
down the arcade, which was always festive and lively at that hour.

To his great surprise he saw Bonzig leisurely flâning about with his
cigarette in his mouth, his hands in his pockets, his long
spectacled nose in the air--gazing at the shop windows. Suddenly the
good man dived into a baker's shop, and came out again in half a
minute with a large brown roll, and began to munch it--still gazing
at the shop windows, and apparently quite content.

Barty rushed after and caught hold of him, and breathlessly heaped
bitter reproaches on him for his base and unfriendly want of
confidence--snatched his roll and threw it away, dragged him by main
force into Carmagnol's, and made him order the dinner he preferred
and sit opposite.

"Ma foi, mon cher!" said Bonzig--"I own to you that I am almost at
the end of my resources for the moment--and also that the prospect
of a good dinner in your amiable company is the reverse of
disagreeable to me. I thank you in advance, with all my heart!"

"My dear M'sieur Bonzig," says Barty, "you will wound me deeply if
you don't look on me like a brother, as I do you; I can't tell you
how deeply you _have_ wounded me already! Give me your word of honor
that you will share ma mangeaille with me till I haven't a sou

And so they made it up, and had a capital dinner and a capital
evening, and Barty insisted that in future they should always mess
together at his expense till better days--and they did.

But Barty found that his own money was just giving out, and wrote to
his bankers in London for more. Somehow it didn't arrive for nearly
a week; and they knew at last what it was to dine for five sous each
(2-1/2_d._)--with loss of appetite just before the meal instead of

Of course Barty might very well have pawned his watch or his
scarf-pin; but whatever trinkets he possessed had been given him by
his beloved Lady Archibald--everything pawnable he had in the world,
even his guitar! And he could not bear the idea of taking them to
the "Mont de Piété."

So he was well pleased one Sunday morning when his remittance
arrived, and he went in search of his friend, that they might
compensate themselves for a week's abstinence by a famous déjeuner.
But Bonzig was not to be found; and Barty spent that day alone, and
Gorged in solitude and guzzled in silence--moult tristement, à

He was aroused from his first sleep that night by the irruption of
Bonzig in a tremendous state of excitement. It seems that a certain
Baron (whose name I've forgotten), and whose little son the ex-usher
had once coached in early Latin and Greek, had written, begging him
to call and see him at his château near Melun; that Bonzig had
walked there that very day--thirty miles; and found the Baron was
leaving next morning for a villa he possessed near Étretat, and
wished him to join him there the day after, and stay with him for a
couple of months--to coach his son in more classics for a couple of
hours in the forenoon.

Bonzig was to dispose of the rest of his time as he liked, except
that he was commissioned to paint six "marines" for the baronial
dining-room; and the Baron had most considerately given him four
hundred francs in advance!

"So, then, to-morrow afternoon at six, my dear Josselin, you dine
with _me_, for once--not in the Passage Choiseul this time, good as
it is there! But at Babet's, en plein Palais Royal! un jour de
séparation, vous comprenez! the dinner will be good, I promise you:
a calf's head à la vinaigrette--they are famous for that, at
Babet's--and for their Pauillac and their St.-Estèphe; at least, I'm
told so! nous en ferons l'expérience.... And now I bid you
good-night, as I have to be up before the day--so many things to buy
and settle and arrange--first of all to procure myself a 'maillot'
and a 'peignoir,' and shoes for the beach! I know where to get these
things much cheaper than at the seaside. Oh! la mer, la mer! Enfin
je vais piquer ma tête [take my header] là dedans--_et pas plus tard
qu'après-demain soir_.... À demain, très-cher camarade--six
heures--chez Babet!"

And, delirious with joyful anticipations, the good Bonzig ran
away--all but "piquant sa tête" down the narrow staircase, and
whistling "Mon Aldegonde" at the very top of his whistle; and even
outside he shouted:

    "Ouïle--mé--sekile rô,
           sekile rô,
           sekile rô ...
     Ouïle--mé--sekile rô
     Tat brinn my laddé ôme!"

He had to be silenced by a sergent de ville.

And next day they dined at Babet's, and Bonzig was so happy he had
to beg pardon for his want of feeling at seeming so exuberant "un
jour de séparation! mais venez aussi, Josselin--nous piquerons nos
têtes ensemble, et nagerons de conserve...."

But Barty could not afford this little outing, and he was very
sad--with a sadness that not all the Pauillac and St.-Estèphe in M.
Babet's cellars could have dispelled.

He made his friend a present of a beautiful pair of razors--English
razors, which he no longer needed, since he no longer meant to
shave--"en signe de mon deuil!" as he said. They had been the gift
of Lord Archibald in happier days. Alas! he had forgotten to give
his uncle Archie the traditional halfpenny, but he took good care to
extract a sou from le Grand Bonzig!

So ended this little episode in Barty's life. He never saw Bonzig
again, nor heard from him, and _of_ him only once more. That sou was

It was at Blankenberghe, on the coast of Belgium, that he at last
had news of him--a year later--at the café on the plage, and in such
an odd and unexpected manner that I can't help telling how it

One afternoon a corner of the big coffee-room was being arranged for
private theatricals, in which Barty was to perform the part of a
waiter. He had just borrowed the real waiter's jacket and apron, and
was dusting the little tables for the amusement of Mlle. Solange, the
dame de comptoir, and of the waiter, Prosper, who had on Barty's own

Suddenly an old gentleman came in and beckoned to Barty and ordered a
demi-tasse and petit-verre. There were no other customers at that

[Illustration: "'DEMI-TASSE--VOILÀ, M'SIEUR'"]

Mlle. Solange was horrified; but Barty insisted on waiting on the
Old gentleman in person, and helped him to his coffee and
pousse-café with all the humorous grace I can so well imagine, and
handed him the _Indépendance Belge_, and went back to superintend
the arrangements for the coming play.

Presently the old gentleman looked up from his paper and became
interested, and soon he grew uneasy, and finally he rose and went up
to Barty and bowed, and said (in French, of course):

"Monsieur, I have made a very stupid mistake. I am near-sighted, and
that must be my apology. Besides, you have revenged yourself 'avec
tant d'esprit,' that you will not bear me _rancune_! May I ask you to
accept my card, with my sincere excuses?..."

And lo! it was Bonzig's famous Baron! Barty immediately inquired
after his lost friend.

"Bonzig? Ah, monsieur--what a terrible tragedy! Poor Bonzig, the
Best of men--he came to me at Étretat. I invited him there from
Sheer friendship! He was drowned the very evening he arrived.

"He went and bathed after sunset--on his own responsibility and
without mentioning it to any one. How it happened I don't
know--nobody knows. He was a good swimmer, I believe, but very blind
without his glasses. He undressed behind a rock on the shore, which
is against the regulations. His body was not found till two days
after, three leagues down the coast.

"He had an aged mother, who came to Étretat. It was harrowing! They
were people who had seen better days," etc., etc., etc.

And so no more of le Grand Bonzig.

Nor did Barty ever again meet Lirieux, in whose existence a change
had also been wrought by fortune; but whether for good or evil I
can't say. He was taken to Italy and Greece by a wealthy relative.
What happened to him there--whether he ever came back, or succeeded
or failed--Barty never heard! He dropped out of Barty's life as
completely as if he had been drowned like his old friend.

These episodes, like many others past and to come in this biography,
had no particular influence on Barty Josselin's career, and no
reference to them is to be found in anything he has ever written. My
only reason for telling them is that I found them so interesting
when he told _me_, and so characteristic of himself. He was "bon
raconteur." I'm afraid I'm not, and that I've lugged these good
people in by the hair of the head; but I'm doing my best. "La plus
belle fille au monde ne peut donner que ce qu'elle a!"

I look to my editor to edit me--and to my illustrator to pull me

       *       *       *       *       *

That autumn (1856) my father went to France for six weeks, on
business. My sister Ida went with the Gibsons to Ramsgate, and I
remained in London with my mother. I did my best to replace my
father in Barge Yard, and when he came back he was so pleased with
me (and I think with himself also) that he gave me twenty pounds,
and said, "Go to Paris for a week, Bob, and see Barty, and give him
this, with my love."

And "this" was another twenty-pound note. He had never given me such
a sum in my life--not a quarter of it; and "this" was the first time
he had ever tipped Barty.

Things were beginning at last to go well with him. He had arranged
to sell the vintages of Bordeaux and Champagne, as well as those of
Burgundy; and was dreaming of those of Germany and Portugal and
Spain. Fortune was beginning to smile on Barge Yard, and ours was to
become the largest wine business in the world--comme tout un chacun

I started for Paris that very night, and knocked at Barty's bedroom
door by six next morning; it was hardly daylight--a morning to be
remembered; and what a breakfasting at Babet's, after a rather cold
swim in the Passy school of natation, and a walk all round the
outside of the school that was once ours!

Barty looked very well, but very thin, and his small sprouting beard
and mustache had quite altered the character of his face. I shall
distress my lady readers if I tell them the alteration was not an
improvement; so I won't.

What a happy week that was to me I leave to the reader's
imagination. We took a large double-bedded room at the Hôtel de
Lille et d'Albion in case we might want to smoke and talk all night;
we did, I think, and had our coffee brought up to us in the morning.

I will not attempt to describe the sensations of a young man going
back to his beloved Paris "after five years." Tout ça, c'est de
l'histoire ancienne. And Barty and Paris together--that is not for
such a pen as mine.

I showed him a new photograph of Leah Gibson--a very large one and
an excellent. He gazed at it a long time with his magnifying-glass
and without, all his keen perceptions on the alert; and I watched
his face narrowly.

"My eyes! She _is_ a beautiful young woman, and no mistake!" he
said, with a sigh. "You mustn't let her slip through your fingers,

"How about that toss?" said I, and laughed.

"Oh, I resign _my_ claim; she's not for the likes o' me. You're
going to be a great capitalist--a citizen of credit and renown. I'm
Mr. Nobody, of nowhere. Go in and win, my boy; you have my best
wishes. If I can scrape together enough money to buy myself a white
waistcoat and a decent coat, I'll be your best man; or some left-off
things of yours might do--we're about of a size, aren't we? You've
become très bel homme, Bob, plutôt bel homme que joli garçon, hein?
That's what women are fond of; English women especially. I'm nowhere
now, without my uniform and the rest. Is it still Skinner who builds
for you? Good old Skinner! Mes compliments!"

This simple little speech took a hidden weight off my mind and left
me very happy. I confided frankly to the good Barty that no Sally in
any alley had ever been more warmly adored by any industrious young
London apprentice than was Leah Gibson by me!

"Ça y est, alors! Je te félicite d'avance, et je garde mes larmes
pour quand tu seras parti. Allons dîner chez Babet: j'ai soif de
boire à ton bonheur!"

Before I left we met an English artist he had known at the British
Museum--an excellent fellow, one Walters, who took him under his
wing, and was the means of his entering the atelier Troplong in the
Rue des Belges as an art student. And thus Barty began his art
studies in a proper and legitimate way. It was characteristic of him
that this should never have occurred to him before.

So when I parted with the dear fellow things were looking a little
brighter for him too.

All through the winter he worked very hard--the first to come, the
last to go; and enjoyed his studio life thoroughly.

Such readers as I am likely to have will not require to be told what
the interior of a French atelier of the kind is like, nor its
domestic economy; nor will I attempt to describe all the fun and the
frolic, although I heard it all from Barty in after-years, and very
good it was. I almost felt I'd studied there myself! He was a prime
favorite--"le Beau Josselin," as he was called.

He made very rapid progress, and had already begun to work in colors
by the spring. He made many friends, but led a quiet, industrious
life, unrelieved (as far as I know) by any of those light episodes
one associates with student life in Paris. His principal amusements
through the long winter evenings were the café and the brasserie,
mild écarté, a game at billiards or dominoes, and long talks about
art and literature with the usual unkempt young geniuses of the
place and time--French, English, American.

Then he suddenly took it into his head to go to Antwerp; I don't
know who influenced him in this direction, but I arranged to meet
him there at the end of April--and we spent a delightful week
together, staying at the "Grand Laboureur" in the Place de Meer. The
town was still surrounded by the old walls and the moat, and of a
picturesqueness that seemed as if it would never pall.

Twice or three times that week British tourists and travelers
Landed at the quai by the Place Verte from _The Baron Osy_--and this
landing was Barty's delight.

The sight of fair, fresh English girls, with huge crinolines, and
their hair done up in chenille nets, made him long for England
again, and the sound of their voices went nigh to weakening his
resolve. But he stood firm to the last, and saw me off by _The
Baron_. I felt a strange "serrement de coeur" as I left him standing
there, so firm, as if he had been put "au piquet" by M. Dumollard!
and so thin and tall and slender--and his boyish face so grave. Good
heavens! How much alone he seemed, who was so little built to live

It is really not too much to say that I would have given up to him
everything I possessed in the world--every blessed thing! Except
Leah--and Leah was not mine to give!

Now and again Barty's face would take on a look so ineffably,
pathetically, angelically simple and childlike that it moved one to
the very depths, and made one feel like father and mother to him in
one! It was the true revelation of his innermost soul, which in many
ways remained that of a child even in his middle age and till he
died. All his life he never quite put away childish things!

I really believe that in bygone ages he would have moved the world
with that look, and been another Peter the Hermit!

He became a pupil at the academy under De Keyser and Van Lerius, and
worked harder than ever.

He took a room nearly all window on a second floor in the Marché aux
oeufs, just under the shadow of the gigantic spire which rings a
fragment of melody every seven minutes and a half--and the whole
tune at midnight, fortissimo.

He laid in a stock of cigars at less than a centime apiece, and
dried them in the sun; they left as he smoked them a firm white ash
two inches long; and he grew so fond of them that he cared to smoke
nothing else.

He rose before the dawn, and went for a swim more than a mile
away--got to the academy at six--worked till eight--breakfasted on a
little roll called a pistolet, and a cup of coffee; then the academy
again from nine till twelve--when dinner, the cheapest he had ever
known, but not the worst. Then work again all the afternoon, copying
old masters at the Gallery. Then a cheap supper, a long walk along
the quais or ramparts or outside--a game of dominoes, and a glass or
two of "Malines" or "Louvain"--then bed, without invading hordes;
the Flemish are as clean as the Dutch; and there he would soon smoke
and read himself to sleep in spite of chimes--which lull you, when
once you get "achimatized," as he called it, meaning of course to be
funny: a villainous kind of fun--caught, I fear, in Barge Yard,
Bucklersbury. It used to rain puns in the City--especially in the
Stock Exchange, which is close to Barge Yard.

It was a happy life, and he grew to like it better than any life he
had led yet; besides, he improved rapidly, as his facility was
great--for painting as for everything he tried his hand at.

He also had a very agreeable social existence.

One morning at the academy, two or three days after his arrival, he
was accosted by a fellow-student--one Tescheles--who introduced
himself as an old pupil of Troplong's in the Rue des Belges. They
had a long chat in French about the old Paris studio. Among other
things, Tescheles asked if there were still any English there.

"Oui"--says Barty--"un nommé Valtères"....

Barty pronounced this name as if it were French; and noticed that
Tescheles smiled, exclaiming:

"Parbleu, ce bon Valtères--je l'connais bien!"

Next day Tescheles came up to an English student called Fox and

"Well, old stick-in-the-mud, how are _you_ getting on?"

"Why, you don't mean to say _you're_ an Englishman?" says Barty to


"Good heavens! you don't mean to say _you_ are! fancy your calling
poor old Walters _Vàltères_!"

And after that they became very intimate, and that was a good thing
for Barty.

The polyglot Tescheles was of a famous musical family, of mixed
German and Russian origin, naturalized in England and domiciled in
France--a true cosmopolite and a wonderful linguist, besides being
also a cultivated musician and excellent painter; and all the
musicians, famous or otherwise, that passed through Antwerp made his
rooms a favorite resort and house of call. And Barty was introduced
into a world as delightful to him as it was new--and to music that
ravished his soul with a novel enchantment: Chopin, Liszt, Wagner,
Schumann--and he found that Schubert had written a few other songs
besides the famous "Serenade"!

One evening he was even asked if he could make music himself, and
actually volunteered to sing--and sang that famous ballad of Balfe's
which seems destined to become immortal in this country--"When other
lips" ... _alias_, "Then you'll remember me!"

Strange to say, it was absolutely new to this high musical circle,
but they went quite mad over it; and the beautiful melody got
naturalized from that moment in Belgium and beyond, and Barty was
proclaimed the primo tenore of Antwerp--although he was only a

A fortnight after this Barty heard "When other lips" played by the
"Guides" band in the park at Brussels. Its first appearance out of
England--and all through him.

Then he belonged to the Antwerp "Cercle Artistique," where he made
many friends and was very popular, as I can well imagine.

Thus he was happier than he had ever been in his life; but for one
thing that plagued him now and again: his oft-recurring desire to be
conscious once more of the north, which he had not felt for four or
five years.

The want of this sensation at certain periods--especially at
night--would send a chill thrill of desolation through him like a
wave; a wild panic, a quick agony, as though the true meaning of
absolute loneliness were suddenly realized by a lightning flash of
insight, and it were to last for ever and ever.

This would pass away in a second or two, but left a haunting
recollection behind for many hours. And then all was again sunshine,
and the world was made of many friends--and solitude was impossible

One memorable morning this happiness received a check and a great
horror befell him. It was towards the end of summer--just before the

With a dozen others, he was painting the head of an old man from the
life, when he became quite suddenly conscious of something strange
in his sight. First he shut his left eye and saw with his right
quite perfectly; then he shut the right, and lo! whatever he looked
at with the left dwindled to a vanishing point and became invisible.
No rubbing or bathing of his eye would alter the terrible fact, and
he knew what great fear really means, for the first time.

Much kind concern was expressed, and Van Lerius told him to go at
once to a Monsieur Noiret, a professor at the Catholic University of
Louvain, who had attended _him_ for the eyes, and had the reputation
of being the first oculist in Belgium.

Barty wrote immediately and an appointment was made, and in three
days he saw the great man, half professor, half priest, who took him
into a dark chamber lighted by a lamp, and dilated his pupil with
atropine, and looked into his eye with the newly discovered

Professor Noiret told him it was merely a congestion of the
retina--for which no cause could be assigned; and that he would be
cured in less than a month. That he was to have a seton let into the
back of his neck, dry-cup himself on the chest and thighs night and
morning, and take a preparation of mercury three times a day. Also
that he must go to the seaside immediately--and he recommended

Barty told him that he was an impecunious art student, and that
Ostend was a very expensive place.

Noiret considerately recommended Blankenberghe, which was cheap;
asked for and took his full fee, and said, with a courtly priestly

"If you are not cured, come back in a month. _Au revoir!_"

So poor Barty had the seton put in by a kind of barber-surgeon, and
was told how to dress it night and morning; got his medicines and
his dry-cupping apparatus, and went off to Blankenberghe quite

And there things happened to him which I really think are worth
telling; in the first place, because, even if they did not concern
Barty Josselin, they should be amusing for their own sake--that is,
if I could only tell them as he told me afterwards; and I will do my

And then he was nearing the end of the time when he was to remain as
other mortals are. His new life was soon to open, the great change
to which we owe the Barty Josselin who had changed the world for

Besides, this is a biography--not a novel--not literature! So what
does it matter how it's written, so long as it's all true!

Part Fifth

    "Ô céleste haine,
       Comment t'assouvir?
     Ô souffrance humaine,
       Qui te peut guérir?
     Si lourde est ma peine
       J'en voudrais mourir--
       Tel est mon désir!

    "Navré de comprendre,
       Las de compatir,
     Pour ne plus entendre,
       Ni voir, ni sentir,
     Je suis prêt à rendre
       Mon dernier soupir--
       Et c'est mon désir!

    "Ne plus rien connaître,
       Ni me souvenir--
     Ne jamais renaître,
       Ni me rendormir--
     Ne plus jamais être,
       Mais en bien finir--
       Voilà mon désir!"--Anon.

Barty went third class to Bruges, and saw all over it, and slept at
the "Fleur de Blé," and heard new chimes, and remembered his

Next morning, a very fine one, as he was hopefully smoking his
centime cigar with immense relish near the little three-horsed
wagonette that was to bear him to Blankenberghe, he saw that he was
to have three fellow-passengers, with a considerable amount of very
interesting luggage, and rejoiced.

First, a tall man about thirty, in a very smart white summer suit,
surmounted by a jaunty little straw hat with a yellow ribbon. He was
strikingly handsome, and wore immense black whiskers but no
mustache, and had a most magnificent double row of white, pearly
teeth, which he showed very much when he smiled, and he smiled very
often. He was evidently a personage of importance and very well off,
for he gave himself great airs and ordered people about and chaffed
them, and it made them laugh instead of making them angry; and he
was obeyed with wonderful alacrity. He spoke French fluently, but
with a marked Italian accent.

Next, a very blond lady of about the same age, not beautiful, but
rather overdressed, and whose accent, when she spoke French, was
very German, and who looked as if she might be easily moved to
wrath. Now and then she spoke to the gentleman in a very audible
Italian aside, and Barty was able to gather that her Italian was
about as rudimentary as his own.

Last and least, a pale, plain, pathetic little girl of six or eight,
with a nose rather swollen, and a black plait down her back, and
large black eyes, something like Leah Gibson's; and she never took
these eyes off Barty's face.

Their luggage consisted of two big trunks, a guitar and violin (in
their cases), and music-books bound together by a rope.

"Vous allez à Blankenberghe, mossié?" said the Italian, with a
winning smile.

Barty answered in the affirmative, and the Italian smiled ecstatic

"Jé souis bienn content--nous férons route ensiemblé...." I will
translate: "I call myself Carlo Veronese--first barytone of the
theatre of La Scala, Milan. The signora is my second wife; she is
prima donna assoluta of the grand opera, Naples. The little ragazza
is my daughter by my first wife. She is the greatest violinist of her
age now living--un' prodige, mossié--un' fenomeno!"

Barty, charmed with his new acquaintance, gave the signore his card,
and Carlo Veronese invited him graciously to take a seat in the
wagonette, as if it were his own private carriage. Barty, who was
the most easily impressed person that ever lived, accepted with as
much sincere gratitude as if he hadn't already paid for his place,
and they started on their sunny drive of eight miles along the dusty
straight Belgian chaussée, bordered with poplars on either side, and
paved with flagstones all the way to Blankenberghe.

Signor Veronese informed Barty that on their holiday travels they
always managed to combine profit with pleasure, and that he proposed
giving a grand concert at the Café on the Plage, or the Kursaal,
next day; that he was going to sing Figaro's great song in the
_Barbiere_, and the signora would give "_Roberto, toua qué z'aime_"
in French (or, rather, "_Ropert, doi que ch'aime_," as _she_ called
it, correcting his accent), and the fenomeno, whose name was
Marianina, would play an arrangement of the "Carnival of Venice" by

"Ma vous aussi, vous êtes mousicien--jé vois ça par la votre

Barty modestly disclaimed all pretensions, and said he was only an
art student--a painter.

"All the arts are brothers," said the signore, and the little
signorina stole her hand into Barty's and left it there.

"Listen," said the signore; "why not arrange to live together, you
and we? I hate throwing away money on mere pomposity and grandiosity
and show. We always take a little furnished apartment, elle et moi.
Then I go and buy provisions, bon marché--and she cooks them--and we
have our meals better than at the hotel and at half the price! Join
us, unless you like to throw your money by the window!"

The Signorina Marianina's little brown hand gave Barty's a little
warm squeeze, and Barty was only too delighted to accept an
arrangement that promised to be so agreeable and so practically

They arrived at Blankenberghe, and, leaving their luggage at the
wagonette station, went in search of lodgings. These were soon found
in a large attic at the top of a house, over a bakery. One little
mansarde, with a truckle-bed and wash-hand stand, did for the family
of Veronese; another, smaller still, for Barty.

Other mansardes also opened on to the large attic, or grenier, where
there were sacks of grain and of flour, and a sweet smell of
cleanliness. Barty wondered that such economical arrangements could
suit his new friends, but was well pleased; a weight was taken off
his mind. He feared a style of living he could not have afforded to
share, and here were all difficulties smoothed away without any
trouble whatever.

They got in their luggage, and Barty went with the signore in search
of bread and meat and wine and ground coffee. When they got back, a
little stove was ready lighted in the Veronese garret; they cooked
the food in a frying-pan, opening the window wide and closing the
door, as the signore thought it useless to inform the world by the
sense of smell that they did their cooking _en famille_; and Barty
enjoyed the meal immensely, and almost forgot his trouble, but for
the pain of his seton.

After lunch the signore produced his placards, already printed by
hand, and made some paste in an iron pot, and the signora made
coffee. And Veronese tuned his guitar and said:

"Jé vais vous canter couelquécose--una piccola cosa da niente!--vous
comprenez l'Italien?"

"Oh yes," said Barty: he had picked up a deal of Italian and many
pretty Italian canzonets from his friend old Pergolese, who kept the
Italian eating-house in Rupert Street. "Sing me a stornella--je les

And he set himself to listen, with his heart in his mouth from sheer
pleasurable anticipation.

The signore sang a pretty little song, by Gordigiani, called "Il
vero amore." Barty knew it well.

    "E lo mio amor è andato a soggiornare
     A Lucca bella--e diventar signore...."

Alas for lost illusions! The signore's voice was a coarse,
unsympathetic, strident buffo bass, not always quite in the middle
of the note; nor, in spite of his native liveliness of accent and
expression, did he make the song interesting or pretty in the least.

Poor Barty had fallen from the skies; but he did his best not to
show his disenchantment, and this, from a kind and amiable way he
always had and a constant wish to please, was not difficult.

Then the signora sang "Ô mon Fernand!" from the _Favorita_, in
French, but with a hideous German accent and a screech as of some
Teutonic peacock, and without a single sympathetic note; though
otherwise well in tune, and with a certain professional knowledge of
what she was about.

And then poor Marianina was made to stand up on six music-books,
opposite a small music-easel, and play her "Carnival of Venice" on
the violin. Every time she made a false note in the difficult
variations, her father, with his long, thick, hairy middle finger,
gave her a fierce fillip on the nose, and she had to swallow her
tears and play on. Barty was almost wild with angry pity, but
dissembled, for fear of making her worse enemies in her father and

Not that the poor little thing played badly; indeed, she played
surprisingly well for her age, and Barty was sincere in his warm
commendation of her talent.

"Et vous ne cantez pas du tout--du tout?" said Veronese.

"Oh, si, quelquefois!"

"Cantez couelquécoze--zé vous accompagnerai sous la guitare!--n'ayez
pas paoure--nous sommes indoulgents, elle et moi--"

"Oh--je m'accompagnerai bien moi-même comme je pourrai--" said
Barty, and took the guitar, and sang a little French Tyrolienne
called "Fleur des Alpes," which he could always sing quite
beautifully; and the effect was droll indeed.

Marianina wept; the signore went down on his knees in a theatrical
manner to him, and called him "maestro" and other big Italian names;
the Frau signora, with tears in her eyes, asked permission to kiss
his hand, which his modesty refused--he kissed hers instead.

"He was a great genius, a bird of God, who had amused himself by
making fools of poor, innocent, humble, wandering minstrels. Oh,
would he not be generous as he was great and be one of them for a
few days, and take half the profits--more--whatever he liked?" etc.

[Illustration: "THE CARNIVAL OF VENICE"]

And indeed they immediately saw the business side of the question, and
were, to do them justice, immensely liberal in their conditions of
partnership--and also most distressingly persistent, with adulations
that got more and more fulsome the more he held back.

There was a long discussion. Barty had to be quite brutal at the
end--told them he was not a musician, but a painter, and that
nothing on earth should induce him to join them in their concert.

And finally, much crestfallen and somewhat huffed, the pair went out
to post their placards all over the town, and Barty went for a bath
and a long walk--suddenly feeling sad again and horribly one-eyed
and maimed, and more wofully northless and homeless and friendless
than ever.

Blankenberghe was already very full, and when he got back he saw the
famous placards everywhere. And found his friends cooking their
dinner, and was pressed to join them; and did so--producing a
magnificent pasty and some hot-house grapes and two bottles of wine
as a peace-offering--and was forgiven.

And after dinner they all sat on grain-sacks together in the large
granary, and made music--with lady's-maids and valets and servants
of the house for a most genial and appreciative audience--and had a
very pleasant evening; and Barty came to the conclusion that he had
mistaken his trade--that he sang devilish well, in fact; and so he

Whatever his technical shortcomings might be, he could make any tune
sound pretty when he sang it. He had the native gift of ease,
pathos, rhythm, humor, and charm--and a delightful sympathetic twang
in his voice. His mother must have sung something like that; and all
Paris went mad about her. No technical teaching in the world can
ever match a genuine inheritance; and that's a fact.

Next morning they all bathed together, and Barty unheroically and
quite obscurely saved a life.

The signore and his fat white signora went dancing out into the
Sunny waves and right away seawards.

Then came Barty with an all-round shirt-collar round his neck and a
white tie on, to conceal his seton, and a pair of blue spectacles
for the glare. And behind him Marianina, hopping on and following as
best she might. He turned round to encourage her, and she had
suddenly disappeared; half uneasy, he went back a step or two, and
saw her little pale-brown face gasping just beneath the surface--she
had just got out of her depth.

He snatched her out, and she clung to him like a small monkey and
cried dreadfully, and was sick all over him and herself. He managed
to get her back on shore and washed and dried and consoled her
before her people came back--and had the tact not to mention this
adventure, guessing what fillips she would catch on her poor little
pink nose for her stupidity. She looked her gratitude for this
reticence of his in the most touching way, with her big black
eyes--and had a cunning smile of delight at their common tacit
understanding. Her rescuer from a watery grave did not apply for the
"médaille de sauvetage"!

Barty took an immense walk that day to avoid the common repast; he
was getting very tired of the two senior Veroneses.

The concert in the evening was a tremendous success. The blatant
signore sang his Figaro song very well indeed--it suited him better
than little feminine love-ditties. The signora was loud and
passionate and dramatic in "Roberto"; and Belgians make more
allowance for a German accent in French than Parisians; besides, it
was not _quite_ their own language that was being murdered before,
them. It _may_ be, some day! I sincerely hope so. Je leur veux du

Poor little Marianina stood on her six music-books and played with
immense care and earnestness, just like a frightened but
well-trained poodle walking on its hind-legs--one eye on her music
and the tail of the other on her father, who accompanied her with
his guitar. She got an encore, to Barty's great relief; and to hers
too, no doubt--if she hadn't, fillips on the nose for supper that
night! Then there were more solos and duets, with obbligatos for the

Next day Veronese and his wife were in high feather at the Kursaal,
where they had sung the night before.

A very distinguished military foreigner, in attendance on some
august personage from Spain or Portugal (and later from Ostend),
warmly and publicly complimented the signore on "his admirable
rendering of 'Largo al factotum'--which, as his dear old friend
Rossini had once told him (the General), he (Rossini) had always
modestly looked upon as the one thing he had ever written with which
he was _almost_ pleased!"

Marianina also received warm commendation from this agreeable old
soldier, while quite a fashionable crowd was listening; and Veronese
arranged for another concert that evening, and placarded the town

Barty managed to escape any more meals in the Casa Veronese, but
took Marianina for one or two pleasant walks, and told her stories
and sang to her in the grenier, while she improvised for him clever
little obbligatos on her fiddle.

He found a cheap eating-house and picked up a companion or two to
chat with. He also killed time with his seton-dressing and self
dry-cupping--and hired French novels and read them as much as he
dared with his remaining eye, about which he was morbidly nervous;
he always fancied it would get its retina congested like the other,
in which no improvement manifested itself whatever--and this
depressed him very much. He was a most impatient patient.

To return. The second concert was as conspicuous a failure as the first
had been a success: the attendance was small and less distinguished, and
there was no enthusiasm. The Frau signora slipped a note and lost her
temper in the middle of "Roberto," and sang out of tune and with
careless, open contempt of her audience, and this the audience seemed to
understand and openly resent. Poor Marianina was frightened, and played
very wrong notes under the furious gaze of her papa, and finally broke
down and cried, and there were some hisses for him, as well as kind and
encouraging applause for the child. Then up jumps Barty and gets on the
platform and takes the signore's guitar and twangs it, and smiles all
round benignly--immense applause!

Then he pats Marianina's thin pale cheek and wipes her eyes and
gives her a kiss. Frantic applause! Then "Fleur des Alpes!"

Ovation! encore! bis! ter!

And for a third encore he sings a very pretty little Flemish ballad
about the rose without a thorn--"Het Roosje uit de Dorne." It is the
only Flemish song he knows, and I hope I have spelt it right! And
the audience goes quite crazy with enthusiasm, and everybody goes
home happy, even the Veroneses--and Marianina does not get filliped
that night.

After this the Veroneses tried humbler spheres for the display of
their talents, and in less than a week exhausted every pothouse and
beer-tavern and low drinking-shop in Blankenberghe! and at last they
took to performing for casual coppers in the open street, and went
very rapidly down hill. The signore lost his jauntiness and grew
sordid and soiled and shabby and humble; the signora looked like a
sulky, dirty, draggle-tailed fury, ready to break out into violence
on the slightest provocation; poor Marianina got paler and thinner,
and Barty was very unhappy about her. The only things left rosy
about her were her bruised nose, and her fingers, that always seemed
stiff with cold; indeed, they were blue rather than rosy--and
anything but clean.

One evening he bought her a little warm gray cloak that took his
fancy; when he went home after dinner to give it her he found the
three birds of song had taken flight--sans tambour ni trompette, and
leaving no message for him. The baker-landlord had turned them
adrift--sent them about their business, sacrificing some of his rent
to get rid of them; not a heavy loss, I fancy.

Barty went after them all over the little town, but did not find
them; he heard they were last seen marching off with guitar and
fiddle in a southerly direction along the coast, and found that
their luggage was to be sent to Ostend.

He felt very sorry for Marianina and missed her--and gave the cloak
to some poor child in the town, and was very lonely.

One morning as he loafed about dejectedly with his hands in his
pockets, he found his way to the little Hôtel de Ville, whence
issued sounds of music. He went in. It was like a kind of
reading-room and concert-room combined; there was a piano there, and
a young lady practising, with her mother knitting by her side; and
two or three other people, friends of theirs, lounging about and
looking at the papers.

The mamma was a very handsome person of aristocratic appearance. The
pretty daughter was practicing the soprano part in a duet by
Campana, which Barty knew well; it was "Una sera d' amore." The
tenor had apparently not kept his appointment, and madame expressed
some irritation at this; first to a friend, in French, but with a
slight English accent--then in English to her daughter; and Barty
grew interested.

After a little while, catching the mamma's eye (which was not
difficult, as she very frankly and persistently gazed at him, and
with a singularly tender and wistful expression of face), he got up
and asked in English if he could be of any use--seeing that he knew
the music well and had often sung it. The lady was delighted, and
Barty and mademoiselle sang the duet in capital style to the mamma's
accompaniment: "guarda che Bianca luna," etc.

"What a lovely voice you've got! May I ask your name?" says the


"English, of course?"

"Upon my word I hardly know whether I'm English or French!" said
Barty, and he and the lady fell into conversation.

It turned out that she was Irish, and married to a Belgian soldier,
le Général Comte de Clèves (who was a tremendous swell, it
seems--but just then in Brussels).

Barty told Madame de Clèves the story of his eye--he was always very
communicative about his eye; and she suddenly buried her face in her
hands and wept; and mademoiselle told him in a whisper that her
eldest brother had gone blind and died three or four years ago, and
that he was extraordinarily like Barty both in face and figure.

Presently another son of Madame de Clèves came in--an officer of
dragoons in undress uniform, a splendid youth. He was the missing
tenor, and made his excuses for being late, and sang very well

And Barty became the intimate friend of these good people, who made
Blankenberghe a different place to him--and conceived for him a
violent liking, and introduced him to all their smart Belgian
friends; they were quite a set--bathing together, making music and
dancing, taking excursions, and so forth. And before a fortnight was
over Barty had become the most popular young man in the town, the
gayest of the gay, the young guardsman once more, throwing dull care
to the winds; and in spite of his impecuniosity (of which he made no
secret whatever) the _boute-en-train_ of the company. And this led to
many droll adventures--of which I will tell one as a sample.

A certain Belgian viscount, who had a very pretty French wife, took
a dislike to Barty. He had the reputation of being a tremendous
fire-eater. His wife, a light-hearted little flirt (but with not
much harm in her), took a great fancy to him, on the contrary.

One day she asked him for a wax impression of the seal-ring he wore
on his finger, and the following morning he sealed an empty envelope
and stamped it with his ring, and handed it to her on the Plage. She
snatched it with a quick gesture and slipped it into her pocket with
quite a guilty little coquettish look of mutual understanding.

Monsieur Jean (as the viscount was called) noticed this, and jostled
rudely against Josselin, who jostled back again and laughed.

Then the whole party walked off to the "tir," or shooting-gallery on
the Plage; some wager was on, I believe, and when they got there
they all began to shoot--at different distances, ladies and
gentlemen; all but Barty; it was a kind of handicap.

Monsieur Jean, after a fierce and significant look at Barty, slowly
raised his pistol, took a deliberate aim at the small target, and
fired--hitting it just half an inch over the bull's-eye; a capital
shot. Barty couldn't have done better himself. Then taking another
loaded pistol, he presented it to my friend by the butt and said,
with a solemn bow:

"À vous, monsieur de la garde."

"Messieurs de la garde doivent toujours tirer les premiers!" said
Barty, laughing; and carelessly let off his pistol in the direction
of the target without even taking aim. A little bell rang, and there
was a shout of applause; and Barty was conscious that by an
extraordinary fluke he had hit the bull's-eye in the middle, and saw
the situation at once.

Suddenly looking very grave and very sad, he threw the pistol away,
and said:

"Je ne tire plus--j'ai trop peur d'avoir la main malheureuse un
jour!" and smiled benignly at M. Jean.

A moment's silence fell on the party and M. Jean turned very pale.

Barty went up to Madame Jean:

"Will you forgive me for giving you with my seal an empty envelope?
I couldn't think of anything pretty enough to write you--so I gave
it up. Tear it and forgive me. I'll do better next time!"

The lady blushed and pulled the letter out of her pocket and held it
up to the light, and it was, as Barty said, merely an empty envelope
and a red seal. She then held it out to her husband and exclaimed:

"Le cachet de Monsieur Josselin, que je lui avais demandé...!"

So bloodshed was perhaps avoided, and Monsieur Jean took care not to
jostle Josselin any more. Indeed, they became great friends.

For next day Barty strolled into the Salle d'Armes, Rue des
Dunes--and there he found Monsieur Jean fencing with young de
Clèves, the dragoon. Both were good fencers, but Barty was the
finest fencer I ever met in my life, and always kept it up; and
remembering his adventure of the previous day, it amused him to
affect a careless nonchalance about such trivial things--"des

"_You_ take a turn with Jean, Josselin!" said the dragoon.

"Oh! I'm out of practice--and I've only got one eye...."

"Je vous en prie, monsieur de la garde!" said the viscount.

"Cette fois, alors, nous allons tirer _ensemble_!" says Barty, and
languidly dons the mask with an affected air, and makes a fuss about
the glove not suiting him; and then, in spite of his defective
sight, which seems to make no difference, he lightly and gracefully
gives M. Jean such a dressing as that gentleman had never got in his
life--not even from his maître d'armes: and afterwards to young de
Clèves the same. Well I knew his way of doing this kind of thing!

So Barty and M. and Madame Jean became quite intimate--and with his
usual indiscretion Barty told them how he fluked that bull's-eye,
and they were charmed!

"Vous êtes impayable, savez-vous, mon cher!" says M. Jean--"vous
avez tous les talents, et un million dans le gosier par-dessus le
marché! Si jamais je puis vous être de service, savez-vous, comptez
sur moi pour la vie ..." said the impulsive viscount when they bade
each other good-bye at the end.

[Illustration: "'À VOUS, MONSIEUR DE LA GARDE!'"]

"Et plus jamais d'enveloppes vides, quand vous m'écrirez!" says

       *       *       *       *       *

So frivolous time wore on, and Barty found it pleasant to frivol in
such pleasant company--very pleasant indeed! But when alone in his
garret, with his seton-dressing and dry-cuppings, it was not so gay.
He had to confess to himself that his eye was getting slowly worse
instead of better; darkening day by day; and a little more retina
had been taken in by the strange disease--"la peau de chagrin," as
he nicknamed this wretched retina of his, after Balzac's famous
story. He could still see with the left of it and at the bottom, but
a veil had come over the middle and all the rest; by daylight he
could see through this veil, but every object he saw was discolored
and distorted and deformed--it was worse than darkness itself; and
this was so distressing, and so interfered with the sight of the
other eye, that when the sun went down, the total darkness in the
ruined portion of his left retina came as a positive relief. He took
all this very desperately to heart and had very terrible
forebodings. For he had never known an ache or a pain, and had
innocently gloried all his life in the singular perfection of his
five wits.

Then his money was coming to an end; he would soon have to sing in
the streets, like Veronese, with Lady Archibald's guitar.

Dear Lady Archibald! When things went wrong with her she would always
laugh, and say:

"Les misères du jour font le bonheur du lendemain!"

This he would say or sing to himself over and over again, and go to
bed at night quite hopeful and sanguine after a merry day spent
among his many friends; and soon sink into sleep, persuaded that his
trouble was a bad dream which next morning would scatter and dispel.
But when he woke, it was to find the grim reality sitting by his
pillow, and he couldn't dry-cup it away. The very sunshine was an
ache as he went out and got his breakfast with his blue spectacles
on; and black care would link its bony arm in his as he listlessly
strolled by the much-sounding sea--and cling to him close as he swam
or dived; and he would wonder what he had ever done that so serious
and tragic a calamity should have befallen so light a person as
himself; who could only dance and sing and play the fool to make
people laugh--Rigoletto--Triboulet--a mere grasshopper, no ant or
bee or spider, not even a third-class beetle--surely this was not
according to the eternal fitness of things!

And thus in the unutterable utterness of his dejection he would make
himself such evil cheer that he sickened with envy at the mere sight
of any living thing that could see out of two eyes--a homeless
irresponsible dog, a hunchback beggar, a crippled organ-grinder and
his monkey--till he met some acquaintance; even but a rolling
fisherman with a brown face and honest blue eyes--a pair of
them--and then he would forget his sorrow and his envy in chat and
jokes and laughter with him over each a centime cigar; and was set
up in good spirits for the day! Such was Barty Josselin, the most
ready lover of his kind that ever existed, the slave of his last

And thus he lived under the shadow of the sword of Damocles for many
months; on and off, for years--indeed, as long as he lived at all. It is
good discipline. It rids one of much superfluous self-complacency and
puts a wholesome check on our keeping too good a conceit of ourselves;
it prevents us from caring too meanly about mean things--too keenly
about our own infinitesimal personalities; it makes us feel quick
sympathy for those who live under a like condition: there are many such
weapons dangling over the heads of us poor mortals by just a hair--a
panoply, an armory, a very arsenal! And we grow to learn in time that
when the hair gives way and the big thing falls, the blow is not half so
bad as the fright had been, even if it kills us; and more often than not
it is but the shadow of a sword, after all; a bogie that has kept us off
many an evil track--perhaps even a blessing in disguise! And in the end,
down comes some other sword from somewhere else and cuts for us the
Gordian knot of our brief tangled existence, and solves the riddle and
sets us free.

This is a world of surprises, where little ever happens but the
unforeseen, which is seldom worth meeting halfway! And these moral
reflections of mine are quite unnecessary and somewhat obvious, but
they harm nobody, and are very soothing to make and utter at my time
of life. Pity the sorrows of a poor old man and forgive him his
maudlin garrulity....

       *       *       *       *       *

One afternoon, lolling in deep dejection on the top of a little sandy
hillock, a "dune," and plucking the long coarse grass, he saw a very
tall elderly lady, accompanied by her maid, coming his way along the
asphalt path that overlooked the sea--or rather, that prevented the
sea from overlooking the land and overflowing it!

She was in deep black and wore a thick veil.

With a little jump of surprise he recognized his aunt Caroline--Lady
Caroline Grey--of all his aunts the aunt who had loved him the best
as a boy--whom he had loved the best.

She was a Roman Catholic, and very devout indeed--a widow, and
childless now. And between her and Barty a coolness had fallen
during the last few years--a heavy raw thick mist of cold
estrangement; and all on account of his London life and the
notoriety he had achieved there; things of which she disapproved
entirely, and thought "unworthy of a gentleman": and who can blame
her for thinking so?

She had at first written to him long letters of remonstrance and
good advice; which he gave up answering, after a while. And when
they met in society, her manner had grown chill and distant and

He hadn't seen or heard of his aunt Caroline for three or four
years; but at the sudden sight of her a wave of tender childish
remembrance swept over him, and his heart beat quite warmly to her:
affliction is a solvent of many things, and first-cousin to

She passed without looking his way, and he jumped up and followed
her, and said:

"Oh, Aunt Caroline! won't you even speak to me?"

She started violently, and turned round, and cried: "Oh, Barty,
Barty, where have you been all these years?" and seized both his
hands, and shook all over.

"Oh, Barty--my beloved little Barty--take me somewhere where we can
sit down and talk. I've been thinking of you very much, Barty--I've
lost my poor son--he died last Christmas! I was afraid you had
forgotten my existence! I was thinking of you the very moment you

The maid left them, and she took his arm and they found a seat.

She put up her veil and looked at him: there was a great likeness
between them in spite of the difference of age. She had been his
father's favorite sister (some ten years younger than Lord
Runswick); and she was very handsome still, though about fifty-five.

"Oh, Barty, my darling--how things have gone wrong between us! Is it
_all_ my doing? Oh, I hope not!..." And she kissed him.

"How like, how like! And you're getting a little black and bulgy
under the eyes--especially the left one--and so did _he_, at just
about your age! And how thin you are!"

"I don't think anything need ever go wrong between us again, Aunt
Caroline! I am a very altered person, and a very unlucky one!"

"Tell me, dear!"

And he told her all his story, from the fatal quarrel with her
brother Lord Archibald--and the true history of that quarrel; and
all that had happened since: he had nothing to keep back.

She frequently wept a little, for truth was in every tone of his
voice; and when it came to the story of his lost eye, she wept very
much indeed. And his need of affection, of female affection
especially, and of kinship, was so immense that he clung to this
most kind and loving woman as if she'd been his mother come back
from the grave, or his dear Lady Archibald.

[Illustration: "'I AM A VERY ALTERED PERSON!'"]

This meeting made a great difference to Barty in many ways--made amends!
Lady Caroline meant to pass the winter at Malines, of all places in the
world. The Archbishop was her friend, and she was friends also with one
or two priests at the seminary there. She was by no means rich, having
but an annuity of not quite three hundred a year; and it soon became the
dearest wish of her heart that Barty should live with her for a while,
and be nursed by her if he wanted nursing; and she thought he did.
Besides, it would be convenient on account of his doctor, M. Noiret, of
the University of Louvain, which was near Malines--half an hour by

And Barty was only too glad; this warm old love and devotion had
suddenly dropped on to him by some happy enchantment out of the
skies at a moment of sore need. And it was with a passion of
gratitude that he accepted his aunt's proposals.

He well knew, also, how it was in him to brighten her lonely life,
almost every hour of it--and promised himself that she should not be
a loser by her kindness to Mr. Nobody of Nowhere. He remembered her
love of fun, and pretty poetry, and little French songs, and droll
chat--and nice cheerful meals tête-à-tête--and he was good at all
these things. And how fond she was of reading out loud to him! The
time might soon arrive when that would be a blessing indeed.

Indeed, a new interest had come into his life--not altogether a
selfish interest either--but one well worth living for, though it
was so unlike any interest that had ever filled his life before. He
had been essentially a man's man hitherto, in spite of his gay light
love for lovely woman; a good comrade par excellence, a frolicsome
chum, a rollicking boon-companion, a jolly pal! He wanted quite
desperately to love something staid and feminine and gainly and well
bred, whatever its age! some kind soft warm thing in petticoats and
thin shoes, with no hair on its face, and a voice that wasn't male!

Nor did her piety frighten him very much. He soon found that she was
no longer the over-zealous proselytizing busybody of the Cross--but
immensely a woman of the world, making immense allowances. All roads
lead to Rome (dit-on!), except a few which converge in the opposite
direction; but even Roman roads lead to this wide tolerance in the
end--for those of a rich warm nature who have been well battered by
life; and Lady Caroline had been very thoroughly battered indeed: a
bad husband--a bad son, her only child! both dead, but deeply loved
and lamented; and in her heart of hearts there lurked a sad suspicion
that her piety (so deep and earnest and sincere) had not bettered
their badness--on the contrary, perhaps! and had driven her Barty
from her when he needed her most.

Now that his need of her was so great, greater than it had ever been
before, she would take good care that no piety of hers should ever
drive him away from her again; she felt almost penitent and
apologetic for having done what she had known to be right--the woman
in her had at last outgrown the nun.

She almost began to doubt whether she had not been led to selfishly
overrate the paramount importance of the exclusive salvation of her
own particular soul!

And then his frank, fresh look and manner, and honest boyish voice,
so unmistakably sincere, and that mild and magnificent eye, so
bright and humorous still, "so like--so like!" which couldn't even
see her loving, anxious face.... Thank Heaven, there was still one
eye left that she could appeal to with both her own!

And what a child he had been, poor dear--the very pearl of the Rohans!
What Rohan of them all was ever a patch on this poor bastard of
Antoinette Josselin's, either for beauty, pluck, or mother-wit--or even
for honor, if it came to that? Why, a quixotic scruple of honor had
ruined him, and she was Rohan enough to understand what the temptation
had been the other way: she had seen the beautiful bad lady!

And, pure as her own life had been, she was no puritan, but of a
church well versed in the deepest knowledge of our poor weak frail
humanity; she has told me all about it, and I listened between the

So during the remainder of her stay at Blankenberghe he was very
much with Lady Caroline, and rediscovered what a pleasant and lively
companion she could be--especially at meals (she was fond of good
food of a plain and wholesome kind, and took good care to get it).

She had her little narrownesses, to be sure, and was not
hail-fellow-well-met with everybody, like him; and did not think
very much of giddy little viscountesses with straddling loud-voiced
Flemish husbands, nor of familiar facetious commercial millionaires,
of whom Barty numbered two or three among his adorers; nor even of
the "highly born" Irish wives of Belgian generals and all that.
Madame de Clèves was an O'Brien.

These were old ingrained Rohan prejudices, and she was too old
herself to alter.

But she loved the good fishermen whose picturesque boats made such a
charming group on the sands at sunset, and also their wives and
children; and here she and her nephew were "bien d'accord."

I fear her ladyship would not have appreciated very keenly the
rising splendor of a certain not altogether unimportant modern house
in Barge Yard, Bucklersbury--and here she would have been wrong. The
Time has come when we throw the handkerchief at female Rohans, we
Maurices and our like. I have not done so myself, it is true; but
not from any rooted antipathy to any daughter of a hundred
earls--nor yet from any particular diffidence on my own part.

Anyhow, Lady Caroline loved to hear all Barty had to say of his gay
life among the beauty, rank, and fashion of Blankenberghe. She was
very civil to the handsome Irish Madame de Clèves, _née_ O'Brien,
and listened politely to the family history of the O'Briens and that
of the de Clèveses too: and learnt, without indecent surprise, or
any emotion of any kind whatever, what she had never heard
before--namely, that in the early part of the twelfth century a
Rohan de Whitby had married an O'Brien of Ballywrotte; and other
prehistoric facts of equal probability and importance.

She didn't believe much in people's twelfth--century reminiscences;
she didn't even believe in those of her own family, who didn't
believe in them either, or trouble about them in the least; and I
dare say they were quite right.

Anyhow, when people solemnly talked about such things it made her
rather sorry. But she bore up for Barty's sake, and the resigned,
half-humorous courtesy with which she assented to these fables was
really more humiliating to a sensitive, haughty soul than any mere
supercilious disdain; not that she ever wished to humiliate, but she
was easily bored, and thought that kind of conversation vulgar,
futile, and rather grotesque.

Indeed, she grew quite fond of Madame de Clèves and the splendid
young dragoon, and the sweet little black-haired daughter with
lovely blue eyes, who sang so charmingly. For they were singularly
charming people in every way, the de Clèveses; and that's a way
Irish people often have--as well as of being proud of their ancient
blood. There is no more innocent weakness. I have it very
strongly--moi qui vous parle--on the maternal side. My mother was a
Blake of Derrydown, a fact that nobody would have known unless she
now and then accidentally happened to mention it herself, or else my
father did. And so I take the opportunity of slipping it in
here--just out of filial piety!

So the late autumn of that year found Barty and his aunt at Malines,
or Mechelen, as it calls itself in its native tongue.

They had comfortable lodgings of extraordinary cheapness in one of
the dullest streets of that most picturesque but dead-alive little
town, where the grass grew so thick between the paving-stones here
and there that the brewers' dray-horses might have browsed in the
"Grand Brul"--a magnificent but generally deserted thoroughfare
leading from the railway station to the Place d'Armes, where rose
still unfinished the colossal tower of one of the oldest and finest
cathedrals in the world, whose chimes wafted themselves every
half-quarter of an hour across the dreamy flats for miles and miles,
according to the wind, that one might realize how slow was the
flight of time in that particular part of King Leopold's dominions.

    "'And from a tall tower in the town
      Death looks gigantically down!'"

said Barty to his aunt--quoting (or misquoting) a bard they were very
fond of just then, as they slowly walked down the "Grand Brul" in
solitude together, from the nineteenth century to the fourteenth in
less than twenty minutes--or three chimes from St. Rombault, or
fifty skrieks from the railway station.

But for these a spirit of stillness and mediæval melancholy brooded
over the quaint old city and great archiepiscopal see and most
important railway station in all Belgium. Magnificent old houses in
carved stone with wrought-iron balconies were to be had for rents
that were almost nominal. From the tall windows of some of these a
frugal, sleepy, priest-ridden old nobility looked down on broad and
splendid streets hardly ever trodden by any feet but their own, or
those of some stealthy Jesuit priest, or Sister of Mercy.

Only during the Kermesse, or at carnival-time, when noisy revelers
of either sex and ungainly processions of tipsy masques and mummers
waked Mechelen out of its long sleep, and all the town seemed one
vast estaminet, did one feel one's self to be alive. Even at night,
and in the small hours, frisky masques and dominoes walked the
moonlit streets, and made loud old Flemish mediæval love, à la

There was a beautiful botanical garden, through which a river flowed
under tall trees, and turned the wheels of the oldest flour-mills in
Flanders. This was a favorite resort of Barty's,--and he had it
pretty much to himself.

And for Lady Caroline there were, besides St. Rombault, quite
half-a-dozen churches almost as magnificent if not so big, and in
them as many as you could wish of old Flemish masters, beginning
with Peter Paul Rubens, who pervades the land of his birth very much
as Michael Angelo pervades Florence and Rome.

And these dim places of Catholic worship were generously open to
all, every day and all day long, and never empty of worshippers,
high and low, prostrate in the dust, or kneeling with their arms
extended and their heads in the air, their wide-open, immovable,
unblinking eyes hypnotized into stone by the cross and the crown of
thorns. Mostly peasant women, these: with their black hoods falling
from their shoulders, and stiff little close white caps that hid the

Out of cool shadowy recesses of fretted stone and admirably carved
wood emanations seemed to rise as from the long-forgotten past--tons
of incense burnt hundreds of years ago, and millions of closely
packed supplicants, rich and poor, following each other in secula
seculorum! Lady Caroline spent many of her hours haunting these
crypts--and praying there.

At the back of their house in the Rue des Ursulines Blanches,
Barty's bedroom window overlooked the playground of the convent "des
Soeurs Rédemptoristines": all noble ladies, most beautifully dressed
In scarlet and ultramarine, with long snowy veils, and who were
Waited upon by non-noble sisters in garments of a like hue but less
expensive texture.

So at least said little Finche Torfs, the daughter of the
house--little Frau, as Lady Caroline called her, and who seems to
have been one of the best creatures in the world; she became warmly
attached to both her lodgers, who reciprocated the feeling in full;
it was her chief pleasure to wait on them and look after them at all
times of the day, though Lady Caroline had already a devoted maid of
her own.

Little Frau's father was a well-to-do burgher with a prosperous
ironmongery in the "Petit Brul."

This was his private house, where he pursued his hobby, for he was
an amateur photographer, very fond of photographing his kind and
simple-minded old wife, who was always attired in rich Brussels
silks and Mechelen lace on purpose. She even cooked in them, though
not for her lodgers, whose mid-day and evening meals were sent from
"La Cigogne," close by, in four large round tins that fitted into
each other, and were carried in a wicker-work cylindrical basket.
And it was little Frau's delight to descant on the qualities of the
menu as she dished and served it. I will not attempt to do so.

But after little Frau had cleared it all away, Barty would descant
on the qualities of certain English dishes he remembered, to the
immense amusement of Aunt Caroline, who was reasonably fond of what
is good to eat.

He would paint in words (he was better in words than any other
medium--oil, water, or distemper) the boiled leg of mutton, not
overdone; the mashed turnips; the mealy potato; the caper-sauce. He
would imitate the action of the carver and the sound of the
carving-knife making its first keen cut while the hot pink gravy
runs down the sides. Then he would wordily paint a French roast
chicken and its rich brown gravy and its water-cresses; the pommes
sautées; the crisp, curly salade aux fines herbes! And Lady
Caroline, still hungry, would laugh till her eyes watered, as well
as her mouth.

When it came to the sweets, the apple-puddings and gooseberry-pies
and Devonshire cream and brown sugar, there was no more laughing,
for then Barty's talent soared to real genius--and genius is a
serious thing. And as to his celery and Stilton cheese--But there!
it's lunch-time, and I'm beginning to feel a little puckish

Every morning when it was fine Barty and his aunt would take an
airing round the town, which was enclosed by a ditch where there was
good skating in the winter, on long skates that went very fast, but
couldn't cut figures, 8 or 3!

There were no fortifications or ramparts left. But a few of the
magnificent old brick gateways still remained, admitting you to the
most wonderful old streets with tall pointed houses--clean little
slums, where women sat on their door-steps making the most beautiful
lace in the world--odd nooks and corners and narrow ways where it
was easy to lose one's self, small as the town really was;
innumerable little toy bridges over toy canals one could have leaped
at a bound, overlooked by quaint, irregular little dwellings, of
colors that had once been as those of the rainbow, but which time
had mellowed into divine harmonies, as it does all it touches--from
grand old masters to oak palings round English parks; from Venice to
Mechelen and its lace; from a disappointed first love to a great

Occasionally a certain distinguished old man of soldier-like aspect
would pass them on horseback, and gaze at their two tall British
figures with a look of curious and benign interest, as if he
mentally wished them well, and well away from this drear limbo of
penitence and exile and expiation.

They learnt that he was French, and a famous general, and that his
name was Changarnier; and they understood that public virtue has to
be atoned for.

And he somehow got into the habit of bowing to them with a good
smile, and they would smile and bow back again. Beyond this they
never exchanged a word, but this little outward show and ceremony of
kindly look and sympathetic gesture always gave them a pleasant
moment and helped to pass the morning.

All the people they met were to Lady Caroline like people in a
dream: silent priests; velvet-footed nuns, who were much to her
taste; quiet peasant women, in black cloaks and hoods, driving
bullock-carts or carts drawn by dogs, six or eight of these
inextricably harnessed together and panting for dear life;
blue-bloused men in French caps, but bigger and blonder than
Frenchmen, and less given to epigrammatic repartee, with mild, blue,
beery eyes, _à fleur de tête_, and a look of health and stolid
amiability; sturdy green-coated little soldiers with cock-feathered
brigand hats of shiny black, the brim turned up over the right eye
and ear that they might the more conveniently take a good aim at the
foe before he skedaddled at the mere sight of them; fat, comfortable
burgesses and their wives, so like their ancestors who drink beer
out of long glasses and smoke long clay pipes on the walls of the
Louvre and the National Gallery that they seemed like old friends;
and quaint old heavy children who didn't make much noise!

And whenever they spoke French to you, these good people, they said
"savez-vous?" every other second; and whenever they spoke Flemish to
each other it sounded so much like your own tongue as it is spoken in
the north of England that you wondered why on earth you couldn't
understand a single word.

Now and then, from under a hood, a handsome dark face with Spanish
eyes would peer out--eloquent of the past history of the Low
Countries, which Barty knew much better than I. But I believe there
was once a Spanish invasion or occupation of some kind, and I dare
say the fair Belgians are none the worse for it to-day. (It might
even have been good for some of us, perhaps, if that ill-starred
Armada hadn't come so entirely to grief. I'm fond of big,
tawny-black eyes.)

All this, so novel and so strange, was a perpetual feast for Lady
Caroline. And they bought nice, cheap, savory things on the way
home, to eke out the lunch from "la Cigogne."

In the afternoon Barty would take a solitary walk in the open
country, or along one of those endless straight _chaussées_, paved
in the middle, and bordered by equidistant poplars on either side,
and leading from town to town, and the monotonous perspective of
which is so desolating to heart and eye; backwards or forwards, it
is always the same, with a flat sameness of outlook to right and
left, and every 450 seconds the chime would boom and flounder
heavily by, with a dozen sharp railway whistles after it, like
swordfish after a whale, piercing it through and through.

Barty evidently had all this in his mind when he wrote the song of
the seminarist in "Gleams," beginning:

    "Twas April, and the sky was clear,
       An east wind blowing keenly;
     The sun gave out but little cheer,
       For all it shone serenely.
     The wayside poplars, all arow,
     For many a weary mile did throw
     Down on the dusty flags below
       Their shadows, picked out cleanly."
               Etc., etc., etc.

(Isn't it just like Barty to begin a lyric that will probably last
as long as the English language with an innocent jingle worthy of a

After dinner, in the evening, it was Lady Caroline's delight to read
aloud, while Barty smoked his cigarettes and inexpensive cigars--a
concession on her part to make him happy, and keep him as much with
her as she could; and she grew even to like the smell so much that
once or twice, when he went to Antwerp for a couple of days to stay
with Tescheles, she actually had to burn some of his tobacco on a
red-hot shovel, for the scent of it seemed to spell his name for her
and make his absence less complete.

Thus she read to him _Esmond_, _Hypatia_, _Never too Late to Mend_,
_Les Maîtres Sonneurs_, _La Mare au Diable_, and other delightful
books, English and French, which were sent once a week from a
circulating library in Brussels. How they blessed thy name, good
Baron Tauchnitz!

"Oh, Aunt Caroline, if I could _only_ illustrate books! If I could
only illustrate _Esmond_ and draw a passable Beatrix coming down the
old staircase at Castlewood with her candle!" said Barty, one night.

That was not to be. Another was to illustrate _Esmond_, a poor devil
who, oddly enough, was then living in the next street and suffering
from a like disorder.[1]

[Footnote 1:
    ("Un malheureux, vêtu de noir,
      Qui me ressemblait comme un frère ..."--Ed.)]

As a return, Barty would sing to her all he knew, in five
languages--three of which neither of them quite understood--accompanying
himself on the piano or guitar. Sometimes she would play for him
accompaniments that were beyond his reach, for she was a decently taught
musician who could read fairly well at sight; whereas Barty didn't know
a single note, and picked up everything by ear. She practised these
accompaniments every afternoon, as assiduously as any school-girl.

Then they would sit up very late, as they always had so much to talk
about--what had just been read or played or sung, and many other
things: the present, the past, and the future. All their old
affection for each other had come back, trebled and quadrupled by
pity on one side, gratitude on the other--and a little remorse on
both. And there were long arrears to make up, and life was short and

Sometimes l'Abbé Lefebvre, one of the professors at the séminaire
and an old friend of Lady Caroline's, would come to drink tea, and
talk politics, which ran high in Mechelen. He was a most
accomplished and delightful Frenchman, who wrote poetry and adored
Balzac--and even owned to a fondness for good old Paul de Kock, of
whom it is said that when the news of his death reached Pius the
Ninth, his Holiness dropped a tear and exclaimed:

"Mio caro Paolo di Kocco!"

Now and then the Abbé would bring with him a distinguished young priest,
a Dominican--also a professor; Father Louis, of the princely house of
Aremberg, who died a Cardinal three years ago.

Father Louis had an admirable and highly cultivated musical gift,
and played to them Beethoven and Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, and
Schumann--and this music, as long as it lasted (and for some time
after), was to Barty as great a source of consolation as of
unspeakable delight; and therefore to his aunt also. Though I'm
afraid she preferred any little French song of Barty's to all the
Schumanns in the world.

First of all, the priest would play the "Moonlight Sonata," let us
say; and Barty would lean back and listen with his eyes shut, and
almost believe that Beethoven was talking to him like a father, and
pointing out to him how small was the difference, really, between
the greatest earthly joy and the greatest earthly sorrow: these were
not like black and white, but merely different shades of gray, as on
moonlit things a long way off! and Time, what a reconciler it
was--like distance! and Death, what a perfect resolution of all
possible discords, and how certain! and our own little life, how
short, and without importance! what matters whether it's to-day,
this small individual flutter of ours; or was a hundred years ago;
or will be a hundred years hence! it has or had to be got
through--and it's better past than to come.

[Illustration: "THE MOONLIGHT SONATA"]

"It all leads to the same divine issue, my poor friend," said Beethoven;
"why, just see here--I'm stone-deaf, and can't hear a note of what I'm
singing to you! But it is not about _that_ I weep, when I am weeping. It
was terrible when it first came on, my deafness, and I could no longer
hear the shepherd's pipe or the song of the lark; but it's well worth
going deaf, to hear all that _I_ do. I have to write everything down,
and read it to myself; and my tears fall on the ruled paper, and blister
the lines, and make the notes run into each other; and when I try to
blot it all out, there's that still left on the page, which, turned into
sound by good father Louis the Dominican, will tell you, if you can only
hear it aright, what is not to be told in any human speech; not even
that of Plato, or Marcus Aurelius, or Erasmus, or Shakespeare; not even
that of Christ himself, who speaks through me from His unknown grave,
because I am deaf and cannot hear the distracting words of men--poor,
paltry words at their best, which mean so many things at once that they
mean just nothing at all. It's a Tower of Babel. Just stop your ears and
listen with your heart and you will hear all that you can see when you
shut your eyes or have lost them--and those are the only realities, mein
armer Barty!"

Then the good Mozart would say:

"Lieber Barty--I'm so stupid about earthly things that I could never
even say Boh to a goose, so I can't give you any good advice; all my
heart overflowed into my brain when I was quite a little boy and
made music for grown-up people to hear; from the day of my birth to
my fifth birthday I had gone on remembering everything, but learning
nothing new--remembering all that music!

"And I went on remembering more and more till I was thirty-five; and
even then there was such a lot more of it where that came from that
it tired me to try and remember so much--and I went back thither.
And thither back shall you go too, Barty--when you are some thirty
years older!

"And you already know from me how pleasant life is there--how sunny
and genial and gay; and how graceful and innocent and amiable and
well-bred the natives--and what beautiful prayers we sing, and what
lovely gavottes and minuets we dance--and how tenderly we make
love--and what funny tricks we play! and how handsome and well
dressed and kind we all are--and the likes of you, how welcome!
Thirty years is soon over, Barty, Barty! Bel Mazetto! Ha, ha! good!"

Then says the good Schubert:

"I'm a loud, rollicking, beer-drinking Kerl, I am! Ich bin ein
lustiger Student, mein Pardy; and full of droll practical jokes;
worse than even you, when you were a young scapegrace in the Guards,
and wrenched off knockers, and ran away with a poor policeman's hat!
But I don't put my practical jokes into my music; if I did, I
shouldn't be the poor devil I am! I'm very hungry when I go to bed,
and when I wake up in the morning I have Katzenjammer (from an empty
stomach) and a headache, and a heartache, and penitence and shame
and remorse; and know there is nothing in this world or beyond it
worth a moment's care but Love, Love, Love! Liebe, Liebe! The good
love that knows neither concealment nor shame--from the love of the
brave man for the pure maiden whom he weds, to the young nun's love
of the Lord! and all the other good loves lie between these two, and
are inside them, or come out of them, ... and that's the love I put
into my music. Indeed, my music is the only love I know, since I am
not beautiful to the eye, and can only care for tunes!...

"But you, Pardy, are handsome and gallant and gay, and have always
been well beloved by man and woman and child, and always will be;
and know how to love back again--even a dog! however blind you go,
you will always have that, the loving heart--and as long as you can
hear and sing, you will always have my tunes to fall back upon...."

"And mine!" says Chopin. "If there's one thing sweeter than love,
it's the sadness that it can't last; _she_ loved me once--and now
she loves _tout le monde_! and that's a little sweet melodic sadness
of mine that will never fail you, as long as there's a piano within
your reach, and a friend who knows how to play me on it for you to
hear. You shall revel in my sadness till you forget your own. Oh,
the sorrow of my sweet pipings! Whatever becomes of your eyes, keep
your two ears for _my_ sake; and for your sake too! You don't know
what exquisite ears you've got. You are like me--you and I are made
of silk, Barty--as other men are made of sackcloth; and their love,
of ashes; and their joys, of dust!

"Even the good priest who plays me to you so glibly doesn't
understand what I am talking about half so well as _you_ do, who
can't read a word I write! He had to learn my language note by note
from the best music-master in Brussels. It's your mother-tongue! You
learned it as you sucked at your sweet young mother's breast, my
poor love-child! And all through her, your ears, like your remaining
eye, are worth a hatful of the common kind--and some day it will be
the same with your heart and brain...."

"Yes"--continues Schumann--"but you'll have to suffer first--like
me, who will have to kill myself very soon; because I am going
mad--and that's worse than any blindness! and like Beethoven who
went deaf, poor demigod! and like all the rest of us who've been
singing to you to-night; that's why our songs never pall--because we
are acquainted with grief, and have good memories, and are quite
sincere. The older you get, the more you will love us and our songs:
other songs may come and go in the ear; but ours go ringing in the
heart forever!"

In some such fashion did the great masters of tune and tone
Discourse to Barty through Father Louis's well-trained finger-tips.
They always discourse to you a little about yourself, these great
masters, always; and always in a manner pleasing to your self-love!
The finger-tips (whosesoever's finger-tips they be) have only to be
intelligent and well trained, and play just what's put before them
in a true, reverent spirit. Anything beyond may be unpardonable
impertinence, both to the great masters and yourself.

Musicians will tell you that all this is nonsense from beginning to
end; you mustn't believe musicians about music, nor wine-merchants
about wine--but vice versa!

When Father Louis got up from the music-stool, the Abbé would say to
Barty, in his delightful, pure French:

"And now, mon ami--just for _me_, you know--a little song of

"All right, M. l'Abbé--I will sing you the 'Adelaïde,' of
Beethoven ... if Father Louis will play for me."

"Oh, non, mon ami, do not throw away such a beautiful organ as yours
on such really beautiful music, which doesn't want it; it would be
sinful waste; it's not so much the tune that I want to hear as the
fresh young voice; sing me something French, something light,
something amiable and droll; that I may forget the song, and only
remember the singer."

"All right, M. l'Abbé," and Barty sings a delightful little song by
Gustave Nadaud, called "Petit bonhomme vit encore."

And the good Abbé is in the seventh heaven, and quite forgets to
forget the song.

And so, cakes and wine, and good-night--and M. l'Abbé goes humming
all the way home....

    "Hé, quoi! pour des peccadilles
       Gronder ces pauvres amours?
     Les femmes sont si gentilles,
       Et l'on n'aime pas toujours!
           C'est bonhomme
           Qu'on me nomme....
     Ma gaîté, c'est mon trésor!
     Et bonhomme vit encor'--
     Et bonhomme vit encor'!"

An extraordinary susceptibility to musical sound was growing in
Barty since his trouble had overtaken him, and with it an
extraordinary sensitiveness to the troubles of other people, their
partings and bereavements and wants, and aches and pains, even those
of people he didn't know; and especially the woes of children, and
dogs and cats and horses, and aged folk--and all the live things
that have to be driven to market and killed for our eating--or shot
at for our fun!

All his old loathing of sport had come back, and he was getting his
old dislike of meat once more, and to sicken at the sight of a
butcher's shop; and the sight of a blind man stirred him to the
depths ... even when he learnt how happy a blind man can be!

These unhappy things that can't be helped preoccupied him as if he
had been twenty, thirty, fifty years older; and the world seemed to
him a shocking place, a gray, bleak, melancholy hell where there was
nothing but sadness, and badness, and madness.

And bit by bit, but very soon, all his old trust in an all-merciful,
all-powerful ruler of the universe fell from him; he shed it like an
old skin; it sloughed itself away; and with it all his old conceit
of himself as a very fine fellow, taller, handsomer, cleverer than
anybody else, "bar two or three"! Such darling beliefs are the best
stays we can have; and he found life hard to face without them.

And he got as careful of his aunt Caroline, and as anxious about her
little fads and fancies and ailments, as if he'd been an old woman

Imagine how she grew to dote on him!

And he quite lost his old liability to sudden freaks and fits of noisy
fractiousness about trifles--when he would stamp and rave and curse and
swear, and be quite pacified in a moment: "_Soupe-au-lait_," as he was
nicknamed in Troplong's studio!

       *       *       *       *       *

Besides his seton and his cuppings, dry and wet, and his blisters on
his arms and back, and his mustard poultices on his feet and legs,
and his doses of mercury and alteratives, he had also to deplete
himself of blood three times a week by a dozen or twenty leeches
behind his left ear and on his temple. All this softens and relaxes
the heart towards others, as a good tonic will harden it.

So that he looked a mere shadow of his former self when I went over
to spend my Christmas with him.

And his eye was getting worse instead of better; at night he couldn't
sleep for the fireworks it let off in the dark. By day the trouble
was even worse, as it so interfered with the sight of the other
eye--even if he wore a patch, which he hated. He never knew peace
but when his aunt was reading to him in the dimly lighted room, and
he forgot himself in listening.

Yet he was as lively and droll as ever, with a wan face as eloquent
of grief as any face I ever saw; he had it in his head that the
right eye would go the same way as the left. He could no longer see
the satellites of Jupiter with it: hardly Jupiter itself, except as
a luminous blur; indeed, it was getting quite near-sighted, and full
of spots and specks and little movable clouds--_muscæ volitantes_,
as I believe they are called by the faculty. He was always on the
lookout for new symptoms, and never in vain; and his burden was as
much as he could bear.

He would half sincerely long for death, of which he yet had such a
horror that he was often tempted to kill himself to get the bother
of it well over at once. The idea of death _in the dark_, however
remote--an idea that constantly haunted him as his own most probable
end--so appalled him that it would stir the roots of his hair!

Lady Caroline confided to me her terrible anxiety, which she managed
to hide from him. She herself had been to see M. Noiret, who was no
longer so confident and cocksure about recovery.

I went to see him too, without letting Barty know. I did not like
the man--he was stealthy in look and manner, and priestly and feline
and sleek: but he seemed very intelligent, and managed to persuade
me that no other treatment was even to be thought of.

I inquired about him in Brussels, and found his reputation was of
the highest. What could I do? I knew nothing of such things! And
what a responsibility for me to volunteer advice!

I could see that my deep affection for Barty was a source of immense
comfort to Lady Caroline, for whom I conceived a great and warm
regard, besides being very much charmed with her.

She was one of those gentle, genial, kindly, intelligent women of
the world, absolutely natural and sincere, in whom it is impossible
not to confide and trust.

When I left off talking about Barty, because there was really
nothing more to say, I fell into talking about myself: it was
irresistible--she _made_ one! I even showed her Leah's last
photograph, and told her of my secret aspirations; and she was so
warmly sympathetic and said such beautiful things to me about Leah's
face and aspect and all they promised of good that I have never
forgotten them, and never shall--they showed such a prophetic
insight! they fanned a flame that needed no fanning, good heavens!
and rang in my ears and my heart all the way to Barge Yard,
Bucklersbury--while my eyes were full of Barty's figure as he again
watched me depart by the _Baron Osy_ from the Quai de la Place Verte
in Antwerp; a sight that wrung me, when I remembered what a
magnificent figure of a youth he looked as he left the wharf at
London Bridge on the Boulogne steamer, hardly more than two short
years ago.

When I got back to London, after spending my Christmas holiday with
Barty, I found the beginning of a little trouble of my own.

My father was abroad; my mother and sister were staying with some
friends in Chiselhurst, and after having settled all business
matters in Barge Yard I called at the Gibsons', in Tavistock Square,
just after dusk. Mrs. Gibson and Leah were at home, and three or
four young men were there, also calling. There had been a party on

I'm afraid I did not think much, as a rule, of the young men I met
at the Gibsons'. They were mostly in business, like myself; and why
I should have felt at all supercilious I can't quite see! But I did.
Was it because I was very tall, and dressed by Barty's tailor, in
Jermyn Street? Was it because I knew French? Was it because I was a
friend of Barty the Guardsman, who had never been supercilious
towards anybody in his life? Or was it those maternally ancestral
Irish Blakes of Derrydown stirring within me?

The simplest excuse I can make for myself is that I was a young
snob, and couldn't help it. Many fellows are at that age. Some grow
out of it, and some don't. And the Gibsons were by way of spoiling
me, because I was Leah's bosom friend's brother, and I gave myself
airs in consequence.

As I sat perfectly content, telling Leah all about poor Barty,
another visitor was announced--a Mr. Scatcherd, whom I didn't know;
but I saw at a glance that it would not do to be supercilious with
Mr. Scatcherd. He was quite as tall as I, for one thing, if not
taller. His tailor might have been Poole himself; and he was
extremely good-looking, and had all the appearance and manners of a
man of the world. He might have been a Guardsman. He was not that,
it seemed--only a barrister.

He had been at Eton, had taken his degree at Cambridge, and ignored
me just as frankly as I ignored Tom, Dick, and Harry--whoever they
were; and I didn't like it at all. He ignored everybody but Leah and
her mamma: her papa was not there. It turned out that he was the
only son of the great wholesale furrier in Ludgate Hill, the largest
house of the kind in the world, with a branch in New York and
another in Quebec or Montreal. He had been called to the bar to
please a whim of his father's.

He had been at the Gibson party on Christmas-eve, and had paid Leah
much attention there; and came to tell them that his mother hoped to
call on Mrs. Gibson on the following day. I was savagely glad that
he did not succeed in monopolizing Leah; not even I could do that.
She was kind to us all round, and never made any differences in her
own house.

Mr. Scatcherd soon took his departure, and it was then that I heard
all about him.

[Illustration: ENTER MR. SCATCHERD]

There was no doubt that Mr. and Mrs. Gibson were immensely flattered
by the civilities of this very important and somewhat consequential
young man, and those of his mother, which were to follow; for within
a week the Gibsons and Leah dined with Mr. and Mrs. Scatcherd in
Portland Place.

On this occasion Mr. Gibson was, as usual, very funny, it seems.
Whether his fun was appreciated I doubt, for he confided to me that
Mr. Scatcherd, senior, was a pompous and stuck-up old ass. People
have such different notions of what is funny. Nobody roared at Mr.
Gibson's funniments more than I did; but he was Leah's papa.

    "Let him joke his bellyful;
     I'll bear it all for Sally!"

Young Scatcherd was fond of his joke too--a kind of supersubtly
satirical Cambridgy banter that was not to my taste at all; for I am
no Cantab, and the wit of the London Stock Exchange is subtle enough
for me. His father did not joke. Indeed he was full of useful
information, and only too fond of imparting it, and he always made
use of the choicest language in doing so; and Mrs. Scatcherd was
immensely genteel.

Young Scatcherd became the plague of my life. The worst of it is
that he grew quite civil--seemed to take a liking. His hobby was to
become a good French scholar, and he practised his French--which was
uncommonly good of its English kind--on me. And I am bound to say
that his manners were so agreeable (when he wasn't joking), and he
was such a thoroughly good fellow, that it was impossible to snub
him; besides, he wouldn't have cared if I had.

Once or twice he actually asked me to dine with him at his club, and
I actually did; and actually he with me, at mine! And we spoke
French all through dinner, and I taught him a lot of French
school-boy slang, with which he was delighted. Then he came to see
me in Barge Yard, and I even introduced him to my mother and sister,
who couldn't help being charmed with him. He was fond of the best
music only (he had no ear whatever, and didn't know a note), and
only cared for old pictures--the National Gallery, and all that; and
read no novels but French--Balzac and George Sand--and that only for
practice for he was a singularly pure young man, the purest in all
Cambridge, and in those days I thought him a quite unforgivable

So Scatcherd was in my thoughts all day and in my dreams all
night--a kind of incubus; and my mother made herself very unhappy
about him, on Leah's account and mine; except that now and then she
would fancy it was Ida he was thinking of. And that would have
pleased my mother very much; and me too!

His mother called on mine, who returned the call--but there was no
invitation for us to dine in Portland Place.

Nothing of all this interrupted for a moment the bosom-friendship
between my sister and Leah; nothing ever altered the genial
sweetness of Leah's manners to me, nor indeed the cordiality of her
parents: Mr. Gibson could not get on without that big guffaw of
mine, at Whatever he looked or said or did; no Scatcherd could laugh
as loudly and as readily as I! But I was very wretched indeed, and
poured out my woes to Barty in long letters of poetical Blaze, and
he would bid me hope and be of good cheer in his droll way; and a
Blaze letter from him would hearten me up wonderfully--till I was
told of Leah's going to the theatre with Mrs. Scatcherd and her son,
or saw his horses and groom parading up and down Tavistock Square
while he was at the Gibsons', or heard of his dining there without
Ida or me!

Then one fine day in April (the first, I verily believe) young
Scatcherd proposed to Leah--and was refused--unconditionally
refused--to the deep distress and dismay of her father and mother,
who had thoroughly set their hearts on this match; and no wonder!

But Leah was an obstinate young woman, it seems, and thoroughly knew
her own mind, though she was so young--not seventeen.

Was I a happy man? Ah, wasn't I! I was sent to Bordeaux by my father
that very week on business--and promised myself I would soon be
quite as good a catch or match as Scatcherd himself. I found
Bordeaux the sunniest, sweetest town I had ever been in--and the
Bordelais the jolliest men on earth; and as for the beautiful
Bordelaises--ma foi! they might have been monkeys, for me! There was
but one woman among women--one lily among flowers--everything else
was a weed!

Poor Scatcherd! when I met him, a few days later, he must have been
struck by the sudden warmth of my friendship--the quick idiomatic
cordiality of my French to him. This mutual friendship of ours
lasted till his death in '88. And so did our mutual French!

Except Barty, I never loved a man better; two years after his
refusal by Leah he married my sister--a happy marriage, though a
childless one; and except myself, Barty never had a more devoted
friend. And now to Barty I will return.

Part Sixth

    "From the east to western Ind,
     No jewel is like Rosalind.
     Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
     Through all the world bears Rosalind.
     All the pictures, fairest lin'd,
     Are but black to Rosalind.
     Let no fair be kept in mind,
     But the fair of Rosalind.

     *    *    *    *    *

    "Thus Rosalind of many parts
       By heavenly synod was devis'd,
     Of many faces, eyes, and hearts,
       To have the touches dearest priz'd."

                        --_As You Like It._

For many months Barty and his aunt lived their usual life in the Rue
des Ursulines Blanches.

He always looked back on those dreary months as on a long nightmare.
Spring, summer, autumn, and another Christmas!

His eye got worse and worse, and so interfered with the sight of the
other that he had no peace till it was darkened wholly. He tried
another doctor--Monsieur Goyers, professor at the liberal university
of Ghent--who consulted with Dr. Noiret about him one day in
Brussels, and afterwards told him that Noiret of Louvain, whom he
described as a miserable Jesuit, was blinding him, and that he, this
Goyers of Ghent, would cure him in six weeks.

"Mettez-vous au régime des viandes saignantes!" had said Noiret; and
Barty had put himself on a diet of underdone beef and mutton.

"Mettez-vous au lait!" said Goyers--so he metted himself at the
milk, as he called it--and put himself in Goyers's hands; and in six
weeks got so much worse that he went back to Noiret and the regimen
of the bleeding meats, which he loathed.

Then, in his long and wretched _désoeuvrement_, his melancholia, he
drifted into an indiscreet flirtation with a beautiful lady--he (as
had happened before) being more the pursued than the pursuer. And so
ardent was the pursuit that one fine morning the beautiful lady
found herself gravely compromised--and there was a bother and a row.

    "Amour, amour, quand tu nous tiens,
     On peut bien dire 'Adieu Prudence!'"

All this gave Lady Caroline great distress, and ended most
unhappily--in a duel with the lady's husband, who was a Colonel of
Artillery, and meant business!

They fought with swords in a little wood near Laeken. Barty, who
could have run his fat antagonist through a dozen times during the
five minutes they fought, allowed himself to be badly wounded in the
side, just above the hip, and spent a month in bed. He had hoped to
manage for himself a slighter wound, and catch his adversary's point
on his elbow.

Afterwards, Lady Caroline, who had so disapproved of the flirtation,
did not, strange to say, so disapprove of this bloody encounter, and
thoroughly approved of the way Barty had let himself be pinked! And
nursed him devotedly; no mother could have nursed him better--no
sister--no wife! not even the wife of that Belgian Colonel of


"Il s'est conduit en homme de coeur!" said the good Abbé.

"Il s'est conduit en bon gentilhomme!" said the aristocratic Father
Louis, of the princely house of Aremberg.

On the other hand, young de Clèves the dragoon, and Monsieur Jean
the Viscount, who had served as Barty's seconds (I was in America),
were very angry with him for giving himself away in this
"idiotically quixotic manner."

Besides which, Colonel Lecornu was a notorious bully, it seems; and
a fool into the bargain; and belonged to a branch of the service
they detested.

The only other thing worth mentioning is that Barty and Father Louis
became great friends--almost inseparable during such hours as the
Dominican could spare from the duties of his professorate.

It speaks volumes for all that was good in each of them that this
should have been so, since they were wide apart as the poles in
questions of immense moment: questions on which I will not enlarge,
strongly as I feel about them myself--for this is not a novel, but a
biography, and therefore no fit place for the airing of one's own
opinion on matters so grave and important.

When they parted they constantly wrote to each other--an intimate
correspondence that was only ended by the Father's death.

Barty also made one or two other friends in Malines, and was often
in Antwerp and Brussels, but seldom, for more than a few hours, as
he did not like to leave his aunt alone.

One day came, in April, on which she had to leave him.

[Illustration: SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR]

A message arrived that her father, the old Marquis (Barty's
grandfather), was at the point of death. He was ninety-six. He had
expressed a wish to see her once more, although he had long been

So Barty saw her off, with her maid, by the _Baron Osy_. She
promised to be back as soon as all was over. Even this short parting
was a pain--they had grown so indispensable to each other.

Tescheles was away from Antwerp, and the disconsolate Barty went
back to Malines and dined by himself; and little Frau waited on him
with extra care.

It turned out that her mother had cooked for him a special dish of
consolation--sausage-meat stewed inside a red cabbage, with apples
and cloves, till it all gets mixed up. It is a dish not to be beaten
when you are young and Flemish and hungry and happy and well (even
then you mustn't take more than one helping). When you are not all
this it is good to wash it down with half a bottle of the best
Burgundy--and this Barty did (from Vougeot-Conti and Co.).

Then he went out and wandered about in the dark and lost himself in
a dreamy dædalus of little streets and bridges and canals and
ditches. A huge comet (Encke's, I believe) was flaring all over the

He suddenly came across the lighted window of a small estaminet, and
went in.

It was a little beer-shop of the humblest kind--and just started. At
a little deal table, brand-new, a middle-aged burgher of prosperous
appearance was sitting next to the barmaid, who had deserted her
post at the bar--and to whom he seemed somewhat attentive; for their
chairs were close together, and their arms round each other's
waists, and they drank out of the same glass.

There was no one else in the room, and Barty was about to make
himself scarce, but they pressed him to come in; so he sat at
another little new deal table on a little new straw-bottomed chair,
and she brought him a glass of beer. She was a very handsome girl,
with a tall, graceful figure and Spanish eyes. He lit a cigar, and
she went back to her beau quite simply--and they all three fell into
conversation about an operetta by Victor Massé, which had been
performed in Malines the previous night, called _Les Noces de

The barmaid and her monsieur were trying to remember the beautiful
air Jeannette sings as she mends her angry husband's breeches:

    "Cours, mon aiguille, dans la laine!
       Ne te casse pas dans ma main;
       Avec de bons baisers demain
     Jean nous paîra de notre peine!"

So Barty sang it to them; and so beautifully that they were all but
melted to tears--especially the monsieur, who was evidently very
sentimental and very much in love. Besides, there was that ineffable
charm of the pure French intonation, so caressing to the Belgian
ear, so dear to the Belgian soul, so unattainable by Flemish lips.
It was one of Barty's most successful ditties--and if I were a
middle-aged burgher of Mechelen, I shouldn't much like to have a
young French Barty singing "Cours, mon aiguille" to the girl of my

Then, at their desire, he went on singing things till it was time to
leave, and he found he had spent quite a happy evening; nothing gave
him greater pleasure than singing to people who liked it--and he
went singing on his way home, dreamily staring at the rare gas-lamps
and the huge comet, and thinking of his old grandfather who lay
dying or dead: "Cours, mon aiguille, it is good to live--it is good
to die!"

Suddenly he discovered that when he looked at one lamp, another lamp
close to it on the right was completely eclipsed--and he soon found
that a portion of his right eye, not far from the centre, was
totally sightless.

The shock was so great that he had to lean against a buttress of St.
Rombault for support.

When he got home he tested the sight of his eye with a two-franc
piece on the green table-cloth, and found there was no mistake--a
portion of his remaining eye was stone-blind.

He spent a miserable night, and went next day to Louvain, to see the

M. Noiret heard his story, arranged the dark room and the lamp,
dilated the right pupil with atropine, and made a minute examination
with the ophthalmoscope.

Then he became very thoughtful, and led the way to his library and
begged Barty to sit down; and began to talk to him very seriously
indeed, like a father--patting the while a small Italian greyhound
that lay and shivered and whined in a little round cot by the fire.

M. Noiret began by inquiring into his circumstances, which were not
nourishing, as we know--and Barty made no secret of them; then he
asked him if he were fond of music, and was pleased to hear that he
was, since it is such an immense resource; then he asked him if he
belonged to the Roman Catholic faith, and again was pleased.

"For"--said he--"you will need all your courage and all your
religion to hear and bear what it is my misfortune to have to tell
you. I hope you will have more fortitude than another young patient
of mine (also an artist) to whom I was obliged to make a similar
communication. He blew out his brains on my door-step!"

"I promise you I will not do that. I suppose I am going blind?"

"Hélas! mon jeune ami! I grieve to say that the fatal disease,
congestion and detachment of the retina, which has so obstinately
and irrevocably destroyed your left eye, has begun its terrible work
on the right. We will fight for every inch of the way. But I fear I
must not give you any hope, after the careful examination I have
just made. It is my duty to be frank with you."

Then he said much about the will of God, and where true comfort was
to be found, at the foot of the Cross; in fact, he said all he ought
to have said according to his lights, as he fondled his little
greyhound--and finally took Barty to the door, which he opened for
him, most politely bowing with his black velvet skull-cap; and
pocketed his full fee (ten francs) with his usual grace of careless
indifference, and gently shut the door on him. There was nothing
else to do.

Barty stood there for some time, quite dazed; partly because his
pupil was so dilated he could hardly see--partly (he thinks) because
he in some way became unconscious; although when he woke from this
little seeming trance, which may have lasted for more than a minute,
he found himself still standing upright on his legs. What woke him
was the _sudden consciousness of the north_, which he hadn't felt
for many years; and this gave him extraordinary confidence in
himself, and such a wholesome sense of power and courage that he
quickly recovered his wits; and when the glad surprise of this had
worn itself away he was able to think and realize the terrible thing
that had happened. He was almost pleased that his aunt Caroline was
away. He felt he could not have faced her with such news--it was a
thing easier to write and prepare her for than to tell by word of

He walked about Louvain for several hours, to tire himself. Then he
went to Brussels and dined, and again walked about the lamp-lit
streets and up and down the station, and finally went back to
Malines by a late train--very nervous--expecting that the retina of
His right eye would suddenly go pop--yet hugging himself all the
while in his renewed old comfortable feeling of companionship with
the north pole, that made him feel like a boy again; that
inexplicable sensation so intimately associated with all the best
reminiscences of his innocent and happy childhood.

He had been talking to himself like a father all day, though not in
the same strain as M. Noiret; and had almost arrived at framing the
programme of a possible existence--singing at cafés with his
guitar--singing anywhere: he felt sure of a living for himself, and
for the little boy who would have to lead him about--if the worst
came to the worst.

If but the feeling of self-orientation which was so necessary to him
could only be depended upon, he felt that in time he would have
pluck enough to bear anything. Indeed, total eclipse was less
appalling, in its finality, than that miserable sword of Damocles
which had been hanging over him for months--robbing him of his
manhood--poisoning all the springs of life.

Why not make life-long endurance of evil a study, a hobby, and a
pride; and be patient as bronze or marble, and ever wear an
invincible smile at grief, even when in darkness and alone? Why not,

And he set himself then and there to smile invincibly, meaning to
keep on smiling for fifty years at least--the blind live long.

[Illustration: "'HELAS! MON JEUNE AMI ... '"]

So he chatted to himself, saying _Sursum cor! Sursum corda!_ all the
way home; and walking down the Grand Brul, he had a little adventure
which absolutely gave him a hearty guffaw and sent him almost
laughing to bed.

There was a noisy squabble between some soldiers and civilians on
the opposite side of the way, and a group of men in blouses were
looking on. Barty stood leaning against a lamp-post, and looked on

Suddenly a small soldier rushed at the blouses, brandishing his
short straight sword (or _coupe-choux_, as it is called in civilian
slang), and saying:

"Ça ne vous regarde pas, savez-vous! allez-vous en bien vite, ou je
vous ..."

The blouses fled like sheep.

Then as he caught sight of Barty he reached at him.

"Ça ne vous regarde pas, savez-vous!..."

(It doesn't concern you.)

"Non--c'est moi qui regarde, savez-vous!" said Barty.

"Qu'est-ce que vous regardez?"

"Je regarde la lune et les étoiles. Je regarde la comète!"

"Voulez-vous bien vous en aller bien vite?"

"Une autre fois!" says Barty.

"Allez-vous en, je vous dis!"


"Vous ... ne ... voulez ... pas ... vous ... en ... aller?" says the
soldier, on tiptoe, his chest against Barty's stomach, his nose
almost up to Barty's chin, glaring up like a fiend and poising his
_coupe-choux_ for a death-stroke.

"_Non_, sacré petit pousse-cailloux du diable!" roars Barty.

"Eh bien, restez où vous êtes!" and the little man plunged back into
the fray on the opposite side--and no blood was shed after all.

Barty dreamt of this adventure, and woke up laughing at it in the
small hours of that night. Then, suddenly, in the dark, he
remembered the horror of what had happened. It overwhelmed him. He
realized, as in a sudden illuminating flash, what life meant for him
hence-forward--life that might last for so many years.

Vitality is at its lowest ebb at that time of night; though the
brain is quick to perceive, and so clear that its logic seems

It was hell. It was not to be borne a moment longer. It must be put
an end to at once. He tried to feel the north, but could not. He
would kill himself then and there, while his aunt was away; so that
the horror of the sight of him, after, should at least be spared

He jumped out of bed and struck a light. Thank Heaven, he wasn't
blind yet, though he saw all the bogies, as he called them, that had
made his life a burden to him for the last two years--the retina
floating loose about his left eye, tumbling and deforming every
lighted thing it reflected--and also the new dark spot in his right.

He partially dressed, and stole up-stairs to old Torfs's
photographic studio. He knew where he could find a bottle full of
cyanide of potassium, used for removing finger-stains left by silver
nitrate; there was enough of it to poison a whole regiment. That was
better than taking a header off the roof. He seized a handful of the
stuff, and came down and put it into a tumbler by his bedside and
poured some water over it.

Then he got his writing-case and a pen and ink, and jumped into bed;
and there he wrote four letters: one to Lady Caroline, one to Father
Louis, one to Lord Archibald, and one to me in Blaze.

The cyanide was slow in melting. He crushed it angrily in the glass
with his penholder--and the scent of bitter-almonds filled the room.
Just then the sense of the north came back to him in full; but it
only strengthened his resolve and made him all the calmer.

He lay staring at the tumbler, watching little bubbles, revelling in
what remained of his exquisite faculty of minute sight--with a
feeling of great peace; and thought prayerfully; lost himself in a
kind of formless prayer without words--lost himself completely. It
was as if the wished-for dissolution were coming of its own accord;
Nirvana--an ecstasy of conscious annihilation--the blessed end, the
end of all! as though he were passing

      "... du sommeil au songe--
    Du songe à la mort."

It was not so....

       *       *       *       *       *

He was aroused by a knock at the door, which was locked. It was
broad daylight.

"Il est dix heures, savez-vous?" said little Frau
outside--"voulez-vous votre café dans votre chambre?"

"O Christ!" said Barty--and jumped out of bed. "It's all got to be
done now!"

But something very strange had happened.

The tumbler was still there, but the cyanide had disappeared; so had
the four letters he had written. His pen and ink were on the table,
and on his open writing-case lay a letter in Blaze--in his own
handwriting. The north was strong in him. He called out to Finche
Torfs to leave his coffee in the drawing-room, and read his blaze
letter--and this is what he read:

    "My dear Barty,--Don't be in the least alarmed on reading this hasty
    scrawl, after waking from the sleep you meant to sleep forever.
    There is no sleep without a live body to sleep in--no such thing as
    everlasting sleep. Self-destruction seems a very simple thing--more
    often a duty than not; but it's not to be done! It is quite
    impossible not to be, when once you have been.

    "If I were to let you destroy your body, as you were so bent on
    doing, the strongest interest I have on earth would cease to exist.

    "I love you, Barty, with a love passing the love of woman; and have
    done so from the day you were born. I loved your father and mother
    before you--and theirs; ça date de loin, mon pauvre ami! And
    especially I love your splendid body and all that belongs to
    it--brain, stomach, heart, and the rest; even your poor remaining
    eye, which is worth all the eyes of Argus!

    "So I have used your own pen and ink and paper, your own right hand
    and brain, your own cipher, and the words that are yours, to write
    you this--in English. I like English better than French.

    "Listen. Monsieur Noiret is a fool; and you are a poor self-deluded

    "I am convinced your right eye is safe for many years to
    come--probably for the rest of your life.

    "You have quite deceived yourself in fancying that the symptom you
    perceived in your right eye threatens the disease which has
    destroyed your left--for the sight of that, alas! is irretrievably
    gone; so don't trouble about it any more. It will always be charming
    to _look at_, but it will never _see_ again. Some day I will tell
    you how you came to lose the use of it. I think I know.

    "M. Noiret is new to the ophthalmoscope. The old humbug never saw
    your right retina at all--nor your left one either, for that matter.
    He only pretended, and judged entirely by what you told him; and you
    didn't tell him very clearly. He's a Belgian, you know, and a
    priest, and doesn't think very quick.

    "_I_ saw your retina, although but with _his_ eye. There is no sign
    of congestion or coming detachment whatever. That blind portion you
    discovered is in _every_ eye. It is called the '_punctum coecum_.' It
    is where the optic nerve enters the retina and spreads out. It is
    only with one eye shut that an ordinary person can find it, for each
    eye supplements this defect of the other. To-morrow morning try the
    experiment on little Finche Torfs; on any one you meet. You will
    find it in everybody.

    "So don't trouble about either eye any more. I'm not infallible, of
    course; it's only _your_ brain I'm using now. But your brain is
    infinitely better than that of poor M. Noiret, who doesn't know what
    his eye really perceives, and takes it for something else! Your
    brain is the best brain I know, although you are not aware of this,
    and have never even used it, except for trash and nonsense. But you
    _shall_--some day. _I'll_ take care of that, and the world shall

    "Trust me. Live on, and I will never desert you again, unless you
    again force me to by your conduct. I have come back to you in the
    hour of your need.

    "I have managed to make you, in your sleep, throw away your poison
    where it will injure nobody but the rats, and no one will be a bit
    the wiser. I have made you burn your touching letters of farewell;
    you will find the ashes inside the stove. Yours is a good heart!

    "Now take a cold bath and have a good breakfast, and go to Antwerp
    or Brussels and see people and amuse yourself.

    "Never see M. Noiret again. But when your aunt comes back you must
    both clear out of this depressing priestly hole; it doesn't suit
    either of you, body or mind. Go to Düsseldorf, in Prussia. Close by,
    at a village called Riffrath, lives an old doctor, Dr. Hasenclever,
    who understands a deal about the human heart and something about the
    human body; and even a little about the human eye, for he is a
    famous oculist. He can't cure, but he'll give you things that at
    least will do you no harm. He won't rid you of the eye that remains!
    You will meet some pleasant English people, whom I particularly wish
    you to meet, and make friends, and have a holiday from trouble, and
    begin the world anew.

    "As to who _I_ am, you shall know in time. My power to help you is
    very limited, but my devotion to you (for very good reasons) has no
    limits at all.

    "Take it that my name is Martia. When you have finished reading this
    letter look at yourself in your looking-glass and say (loud enough
    for your own ears to hear you):

    "'I trust you, Martia!'

    "Then I will leave you for a while, and come back at night, as in
    the old days. Whenever the north is in you, there am ~I~; seeing,
    hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling with your five splendid wits by
    day--sleeping your lovely sleep at night; but only able to think
    with _your_ brain, it seems, and then only when you are fast asleep.
    I only found it out just now, and saved your earthly life, mon beau
    somnambule! It was a great surprise to me!

    "Don't mention this to any living soul till I give you leave. You
    will only hear from me on great occasions.


    "P. S.--Always leave something to write with by your bedside at
    night, in case the great occasion should arise. On ne sait pas ce
    qui peut arriver!"

Bewildered, beside himself, Barty ran to his looking-glass, and
stared himself out of countenance, and almost shouted:

"I trust you, Martia!"

And ceased suddenly to feel the north.

Then he dressed and went to breakfast. Little Frau thought he had
gone mad, for he put a five-franc piece upon the carpet, and made
her stand a few feet off from it and cover her left eye with her

"Now follow the point of my stick with your right eye," says he,
"and tell me if the five-franc piece disappears."

And he slowly drew with the point of his stick an imaginary line
from the five-franc piece to the left of her, at right angles to
where she stood. When the point of the stick was about two feet from
the coin, she said:

"Tiens, tiens, I no longer see the piece!"

When the point of the stick had got a foot farther on, she said,
"Now I can see the piece again quite plain."

Then he tried the same experiment on her left eye, rightwards, with
the same result. Then he experimented with equal success on her
father and mother, and found that every eye at No. 36 Rue des
Ursulines Blanches had exactly the same blind spot as his own.

Then off he went to Antwerp to see his friends with a light
heart--the first light heart he had known for many months; but when
he got there he was so preoccupied with what had happened that he
did not care to see anybody.

He walked about the ramparts and along the Scheldt, and read and
re-read that extraordinary letter.

Who and what could Martia be?

The reminiscence of some antenatal incarnation of his own soul? The
soul of some ancestor or ancestress--of his mother, perhaps? or,
perhaps, some occult portion of himself--of his own brain in
unconscious cerebration during sleep?

As a child and a small boy, and even as a very young man, he had
often dreamt at night of a strange, dim land by the sea, a land
unlike any land he had ever beheld with the waking eye, where
beautiful aquatic people, mermen and mermaids and charming little
mer-children (of which he was one) lived an amphibious life by day,
diving and sporting in the waves.

Splendid caverns, decorated with precious stones, and hung with soft
moss, and shining with a strange light; heavenly music, sweet,
affectionate caresses--and then total darkness; and yet one knew who
and what and where everything and everybody was by some keener sense
than that of sight.

It all seemed strange and delightful, but so vague and shadowy it
was impossible to remember anything clearly; but ever pervading all
things was that feeling of the north which had always been such a
comfort to him.

Was this extraordinary letter the result of some such forgotten
dream he may have had during the previous night, and which may have
prompted him to write it in his sleep? some internal knowledge of
the anatomy of his own eye which was denied to him when awake?

Anyhow, it was evidently true about that blind spot in the retina
(the _punctum coecum_), and that he had been frightening himself out
of his wits for nothing, and that his right eye was really sound;
and, all through this wondrous yet simple revelation, it was time
this old hysterical mock-disease should die.

Once more life was full of hopes and possibilities, and with such
inarticulate and mysterious promptings as he often felt within his
soul, and such a hidden gift to guide them, what might he not one
day develop into?

Then he went and found Tescheles, and they dined together with a
famous pianist, Louis Brassin, and afterwards there was music, and
Barty felt the north, and his bliss was transcendent as he went back
to Malines by the last train--talking to Martia (as he expressed it
to himself) in a confidential whisper which he made audible to his
own ear (that she, if it was a she, might hear too); almost praying,
in a fervor of hope and gratitude; and begging for further guidance;
and he went warmly to sleep, hugging close within himself, somewhere
about the region of the diaphragm, an ineffable imaginary something
which he felt to be more precious than any possession that had ever
yet been his--more precious even than the apple of his remaining
eye; and when he awoke next morning he felt he had been most
blissfully dreaming all night long, but could not remember anything
of his dreams, and on a piece of paper he had left by his bedside
was written in pencil, in his own blaze:

"You must depend upon yourself, Barty, not on me. Follow your own
instincts when you feel you can do so without self-reproach, and all
will be well with you.--M."

His instincts led him to spend the day in Brussels, and he followed
them; he still wanted to walk about and muse and ponder, and
Brussels is a very nice, gay, and civilized city for such a
purpose--a little Paris, with charming streets and shops and a
charming arcade, and very good places to eat and drink in, and hear
pretty music.

He did all this, and spent a happy day.

Ho came to the conclusion that the only way to keenly appreciate and
thoroughly enjoy the priceless gift of sight in one eye was to lose
that of the other; in the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed is king,
and he fully revelled in the royalty that was now his, he hoped, for
evermore; but wished for himself as limited a kingdom and as few
subjects as possible.

Then back to Malines by the last train--and the sensation of the
north, and a good-night; but no message in the morning--no message
from Martia for many mornings to come.

He received, however, a long letter from Lady Caroline.

The old Marquis had died without pain, and with nearly all his
family round him; but perfectly childish, as he had been for two or
three years. He was to be buried on the following Monday.

Barty wrote a long letter in reply, telling his aunt how much better
he had suddenly become in health and spirits; how he had thought of
things, and quite reconciled himself at last to the loss of his left
eye, and meant to keep the other and make the best of it he could;
how he had heard of a certain Doctor Hasenclever, a famous oculist
near Düsseldorf, and would like to consult him; how Düsseldorf was
such a healthy town, charming and gay, full of painters and
soldiers, the best and nicest people in the world--and also very
cheap. Mightn't they try it?

He was very anxious indeed to go back to his painting, and
Düsseldorf was as good a school as any, etc., etc., etc. He wrote
pages--of the kind he knew she would like, for it was of the kind he
liked writing to her; they understood each other thoroughly, he and
Lady Caroline, and well he knew that she could only be quite happy
in doing whatever he had most at heart.

How he longed to tell her everything! but that must not be. I can
imagine all the deep discomfort to poor Barty of having to be
discreet for the first time in his life, of having to keep a
secret--and from his beloved Aunt Caroline of all people in the

That was a happy week he spent--mostly in Antwerp among the
painters. He got no more letters from Martia, not for many days to
come; but he felt the north every night as he sank into healthy
sleep, and woke in the morning full of hope and confidence in
himself--at last _sans peur et sans reproche_.

One day in Brussels he met M. Noiret, who naturally put on a very
grave face; they shook hands, and Barty inquired affectionately
after the little Italian greyhound, and asked what was the French
for "_punctum coecum_."

Said Noiret: "Ça s'appelle _le point caché_--c'est une portion de la
rétine avec laquelle on ne peut pas voir...."

Barty laughed and shook hands again, and left the Professor staring.

Then he was a great deal with Father Louis. They went to Ghent
together, and other places of interest; and to concerts in Brussels.

The good Dominican was very sorrowful at the prospect of soon losing
his friend. Poor Barty! The trial it was to him not to reveal his
secret to this singularly kind and sympathetic comrade; not even
under the seal of confession! So he did not confess at all; although
he would have confessed anything to Father Louis, even if Father
Louis had not been a priest. There are the high Catholics, who
understand the souls of others, and all the difficulties of the
conscience, and do not proselytize in a hurry; and the low
Catholics, the converts of the day before yesterday, who will not
let a body be!

Father Louis was a very high Catholic indeed.

The Lady Caroline Grey, 12A Scamore Place, London, to M. Josselin,
36 Rue des Ursulines Blanches, Malines:

    "My dear little Barty,--Your nice long letter made me very
    happy--happy beyond description; it makes me almost jealous to think
    that you should have suddenly got so much better in your health and
    spirits while I was away: you won't want me any more! That doesn't
    prevent my longing to get back to you. You must put up with your
    poor old aunty for a little while yet.

    "And now for _my_ news--I couldn't write before. Poor papa was
    buried on Monday, and we all came back here next day. He has left
    you £200: c'est toujours ça! Everything seems in a great mess. Your
    Uncle Runswick[1] is going to be very poor indeed; he is going to
    let Castle Rohan, and live here all the year round. Poor fellow, he
    looks as old as his father did ten years ago, and he's only
    sixty-three! If Algy could only make a good marriage! At forty
    that's easier said than done.

    [Footnote 1: The new Marquis of Whitby.]

    "Archibald and his wife are at a place called Monte Carlo, where
    there are gaming-tables: she gambles fearfully, it seems; and they
    lead a cat-and-dog life. She is _plus que coquette_, and extravagant
    to a degree; and he is quite shrunk and prematurely old, and almost
    shabby, and drinks more brandy than he ought.

    "Daphne is charming, and is to come out next spring; she will have
    £3000 a year, lucky child; all out of chocolate. What nonsense we've
    all talked about trade! We shall all have to take to it in time. The
    Lonlay-Savignac people were wise in their generation.

    "And what do you think? Young Digby-Dobbs wants to marry her, out
    of the school-room! He'll be Lord Frognal, you know; and very soon,
    for his father is drinking himself to death.

    "He's in your old regiment, and a great favorite; not yet twenty--he
    only left Eton last Christmas twelvemonth. She says she won't have
    him at any price, because he stammers.

    "She declares you haven't written to her for three months, and that
    you owe her an illustrated letter in French, with priests and nuns,
    and dogs harnessed to a cart.

    "And now for news that will delight you: She is to come abroad with
    me for a twelvemonth, and wishes to go with you and me to Düsseldorf
    first! _Isn't_ that a happy coincidence? We would all spend the
    summer there, and then Italy for the winter; you too, if you can (so
    you must be economical with that £200).

    "I have already heard wonders about Dr. Hasenclever, even before
    your letter came; he cured General Baines, who was given up by
    everybody here, Lady Palmerston told me; she was here yesterday,
    by-the-bye, and the Duchess of Bermondsey, and both inquired most
    kindly after you.

    "The Duchess looked as handsome as ever, and as proud as a peacock;
    for last year she presented her niece, Julia Royce, 'the divine
    Julia,' the greatest beauty ever seen, I am told--with many
    thousands a year, if you please--Lady Jane Royce's daughter, an only
    child, and her father's dead. She's six feet high, so you would go
    mad about her. She's already refused sixty offers, good ones; among
    them little Lord Orrisroot, the hunchback, who'll have £1000 a day
    (including Sundays) when he comes into the title--and that can't be
    very far off, for the wicked old Duke of Deptford has got creeping
    paralysis, like his father and grandfather before him, and is now
    quite mad, and thinks himself a postman, and rat-tats all day long
    on the furniture. Lady Jane is furious with her for not accepting;
    and when Julia told her, she slapped her face before the maid!

    "There's another gigantic beauty that people have gone mad about--a
    Polish pianist, who's just married young Harcourt, who's a grandson
    of that old scamp the Duke of Towers.

    "Talking of beauties, whom do you think I met yesterday in the Park?
    Whom but your stalwart friend Mr. Maurice (_he_ wasn't the beauty),
    with his sister, your old Paris playfellow, and the lovely Miss
    Gibson. He introduced them both, and I was delighted with them, and
    we walked together by the Serpentine; and after five minutes I came
    to the conclusion that Miss Gibson is as beautiful as it is possible
    for a dark beauty to be, and as nice as she looks. She isn't dark
    really, only her eyes and hair; her complexion is like cream: she's
    a freak of nature. Lucky young Maurice if she is to be his fate--and
    both well off, I suppose.

    "Upon my word, if you were King Cophetua and she the beggar-maid, I
    would give you both my blessing. But how is it you never fell in
    love with the fair _Ida_? You never told me how handsome she is. She
    too complained of you as a correspondent, and declares that she gets
    one letter in return for three she writes you.

    "I have bought you some pretty new songs, among others one by
    Charles Kingsley, which is lovely; about three fishermen and their
    wives: it reminds one of our dear Whitby! I can play the
    accompaniment in perfection, and all by heart!

    "Give my kindest remembrances to Father Louis and the dear Abbé
    Lefebvre, and say kind things from me to the Torfses. Martha sends
    her love to little Frau, and so do I.

    "We hope to be in Antwerp in a fortnight, and shall put up at the
    Grand Laboureur. I shall go to Malines, of course, to say good-bye
    to people.

    "Tell the Torfses to get my things ready for moving. There will be
    five of us: I and Martha, and Daphne and two servants of her own;
    for Daphne's got to take old Mrs. Richards, who won't be parted from

    "Good-bye for the present. My dear boy, I thank God on my knees,
    night and morning for having given you back to me in my old age.

    "Your ever affectionate aunt,


    "P. S.--You remember pretty little Kitty Hardwicke you used to flirt
    with, who married young St. Clair, who's now Lord Kidderminster?
    She's just had three at a birth; she had twins only last year; the
    Queen's delighted. Pray be careful about never getting wet feet--"

One stormy evening in May, Mrs. Gibson drove Ida and Leah and me and
Mr. Babbage, a middle-aged but very dapper War Office clerk (who was
a friend of the Gibson family), to Chelsea, that we might explore
Cheyne Walk and its classic neighborhood. I rode on the box by the

We alighted by the steamboat pier and explored, I walking with Leah.

We came to a very narrow street, quite straight, the narrowest
street that could call itself a street at all, and rather long; we
were the only people in it. It has since disappeared, with all that
particular part of Chelsea.

Suddenly we saw a runaway horse without a rider coming along it at
full gallop, straight at us, with a most demoralizing sharp clatter
of its iron hoofs on the stone pavement.

"Your backs to the wall!" cried Mr. Babbage, and we flattened
ourselves to let the maddened brute go by, bridle and stirrups
flying--poor Mrs. Gibson almost faint with terror.

Leah, instead of flattening herself against the wall, put her arms
round her mother, making of her own body a shield for her, and
looked round at the horse as it came tearing up the street, striking
sparks from the flag-stones.

Nobody was hurt, for a wonder; but Mrs. Gibson was quite overcome.
Mr. Babbage was very angry with Leah, whose back the horse actually
grazed, as he all but caught his hoofs in her crinoline and hit her
with a stirrup on the shoulder.

I could only think of Leah's face as she looked round at the
approaching horse, with her protecting arms round her mother. It was
such a sudden revelation to me of what she really was, and its
expression was so hauntingly impressive that I could think of
nothing else. Its mild, calm courage, its utter carelessness of
self, its immense tenderness--all blazed out in such beautiful
lines, in such beautiful white and black, that I lost all
self-control; and when we walked back to the pier, following the
rest of the party, I asked her to be my wife.

She turned very pale again, and the flesh of her chin quivered as
she told me that was _quite impossible--and could never be_.

I asked her if there was anybody else, and she said there was
nobody, but that she did not wish ever to marry; that, beyond her
parents and Ida, she loved and respected me more than anybody else
in the whole world, but that she could never marry me. She was much
agitated, and said the sweetest, kindest things, but put all hope
out of the question at once.

It was the greatest blow I have ever had in my life.

Three days after, I went to America; and before I came back I had
started in New York the American branch of the house of
Vougeot-Conti, and laid the real foundation of the largest fortune
that has ever yet been made by selling wine, and of the long
political career about which I will say nothing in these pages.

On my voyage out I wrote a long blaze letter to Barty, and poured
out all my grief, and my resignation to the decree which I felt to
be irrevocable. I reminded him of that playful toss-up in
Southampton Row, and told him that, having surrendered all claims
myself, the best thing that could happen to me was that she should
some day marry _him_ (which I certainly did not think at all

So henceforward, reader, you will not be troubled by your obedient
servant with the loves of a prosperous merchant of wines. Had those
loves been more successful, and the wines less so, you would never
have heard of either.

Whether or not I should have been a happier man in the long-run I
really can't say--mine has been, on the whole, a very happy life, as
men's lives go; but I am bound to admit, in all due modesty, that
the universe would probably have been the poorer by some very
splendid people, and perhaps by some very splendid things it could
ill have spared; and one great and beautifully borne sorrow the less
would have been ushered into this world of many sorrows.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a bright May morning (a year after this) when Barty and his
aunt Caroline and his cousin Daphne and their servants left Antwerp
for Düsseldorf on the Rhine.

At Malines they had to change trains, and spent half an hour at the
station waiting for the express from Brussels and bidding farewell
to their Mechlin friends, who had come there to wish them God-speed:
the Abbé Lefebvre, Father Louis, and others; and the Torfses, père
et mère; and little Frau, who wept freely as Lady Caroline kissed
her and gave her a pretty little diamond brooch. Barty gave her a
gold cross and a hearty shake of the hand, and she seemed quite

Then up came the long, full train, and their luggage was swallowed,
and they got in, and the two guards blew their horns, and they left
Malines behind them--with a mixed feeling of elation and regret.

They had not been very happy there, but many people had been very
kind; and the place, with all its dreariness, had a strange, still
charm, and was full of historic beauty and romantic associations.

Passing Louvain, Barty shook his fist at the Catholic University and
its scientific priestly professors, who condemned one so lightly to
a living death. He hated the aspect of the place, the very smell of

At Verviers they left the Belgian train; they had reached the limits
of King Leopold's dominions. There was half an hour for lunch in the
big refreshment-room, over which his Majesty and the Queen of the
Belgians presided from the wall--nearly seven feet high each of
them, and in their regal robes.

Just as the Rohans ordered their repast another English party came
to their table and ordered theirs--a distinguished old gentleman of
naval bearing and aspect; a still young middle-aged lady, very
handsome, with blue spectacles; and an immensely tall, fair girl,
very fully developed, and so astonishingly beautiful that it almost
took one's breath away merely to catch sight of her; and people were
distracted from ordering their mid-day meal merely to stare at this
magnificent goddess, who was evidently born to be a mother of

These British travellers had a valet, a courier, and two maids, and
were evidently people of consequence.

Suddenly the lady with the blue spectacles (who had seated herself
close to the Rohan party) got up and came round the table to Barty's
aunt and said:

"You don't remember me, Lady Caroline; Lady Jane Royce!"

And an old acquaintance was renewed in this informal
manner--possibly some old feud patched up.

Then everybody was introduced to everybody else, and they all
lunched together, a scramble!

It turned out that Lady Jane Royce was in some alarm about her eyes,
and was going to consult the famous Dr. Hasenclever, and had brought
her daughter with her, just as the London season had begun.

Her daughter was the "divine Julia" who had refused so many splendid
offers--among them the little hunchback Lord who was to have a
thousand a day, "including Sundays"; a most unreasonable young
woman, and a thorn in her mother's flesh.

The elderly gentleman, Admiral Royce, was Lady Jane's uncle-in-law,
whose eyes were also giving him a little anxiety. He was a charming
old stoic, by no means pompous or formal, or a martinet, and
declared he remembered hearing of Barty as the naughtiest boy in the
Guards; and took an immediate fancy to him in consequence.

They had come from Brussels in the same train that had brought the
Rohans from Malines, and they all journeyed together from Verviers
to Düsseldorf in the same first-class carriage, as became English
swells of the first water--for in those days no one ever thought of
going first-class in Germany except the British aristocracy and a
few native royalties.

The divine Julia turned out as fascinating as she was fair, being
possessed of those high spirits that result from youth and health
and fancy-freedom, and no cares to speak of. She was evidently also
a very clever and accomplished young lady, absolutely without
affectation of any kind, and amiable and frolicsome to the highest
degree--a kind of younger Barty Josselin in petticoats; oddly
enough, so like him in the face she might have been his sister.

Indeed, it was a lively party that journeyed to Düsseldorf that
afternoon in that gorgeously gilded compartment, though three out of
the six were in deep mourning; the only person not quite happy being
Lady Jane, who, in addition to her trouble about her eyes (which was
really nothing to speak of), began to fidget herself miserably about
Barty Josselin; for that wretched young detrimental was evidently
beginning to ingratiate himself with the divine Julia as no young
man had ever been known to do before, keeping her in fits of
laughter, and also laughing at everything she said herself.

Alas for Lady Jane! it was to escape the attentions of a far less
dangerous detrimental, and a far less ineligible one, that she had
brought her daughter with her all the way to Riffrath--"from
Charybdis to Scylla," as we used to say at Brossard's, putting the
cart before the horse, _more Latino_!

I ought also to mention that a young Captain Graham-Reece was a
patient of Dr. Hasenclever's just then--and Captain Graham-Reece was
heir to the octogenarian Earl of Ironsides, who was one of the four
wealthiest peers in the United Kingdom, and had no direct

When they reached Düsseldorf they all went to the Breidenbacher
Hotel, where rooms had been retained for them, all but Barty, who,
as became his humbler means, chose the cheaper hotel Domhardt, which
overlooks the market-place adorned by the statue of the Elector that
Heine has made so famous.

He took a long evening walk through the vernal Hof Gardens and by
the Rhine, and thought of the beauty and splendor of the divine
Julia; and sighed, and remembered that he was Mr. Nobody of Nowhere,
_pictor ignotus_, with only one eye he could see with, and possessed
of a fortune which invested in the 3 per cents would bring him in
just £6 a year--and made up his mind he would stick to his painting
and keep as much away from her divinity as possible.

"O Martia, Martia!" he said, aloud, as he suddenly felt the north at
the right of him, "I hope that you are some loving female soul, and
that you know my weakness--namely, that one woman in every ten
thousand has a face that drives me mad; and that I can see just as
well with one eye as with two, in spite of my _punctum coecum_! and
that when that face is all but on a level with mine, good Lord! then
am I lost indeed! I am but a poor penniless devil, without a name;
oh, keep me from that ten-thousandth face, and cover my retreat!"

Next morning Lady Jane and Julia and the Admiral left for
Riffrath--and Barty and his aunt and cousin went in search of
lodgings; sweet it was, and bright and sunny, as they strolled down
the broad Allée Strasse; a regiment of Uhlans came along on
horseback, splendid fellows, the band playing the "Lorelei."

In the fulness of their hearts Daphne and Barty squeezed each
other's hand to express the joy and elation they felt at the
pleasantness of everything. She was his little sister once more,
from whom he had so long been parted, and they loved each other very

"Que me voilà donc bien contente, mon petit Barty--et toi? la jolie
ville, hein?"

"C'est le ciel, tout bonnement--et tu vas m'apprendre l'allemand,
n'est-ce-pas, m'amour?"

"Oui, et nous lirons _Heine_ ensemble; tiens, à propos! regarde le
nom de la rue qui fait le coin! _Bolker Strasse!_ c'est là qu'il est
né, le pauvre Heine! Ôte ton chapeau!"

(Barty nearly always spoke French with Daphne, as he did with my
sister and me, and said "thee and thou.")

They found a furnished house that suited them in the Schadow
Strasse, opposite Geissler's, where for two hours every Thursday and
Sunday afternoon you might sit for sixpence in a pretty garden and
drink coffee, beer, or Maitrank, and listen to lovely music, and
dance in the evening under cover to strains of Strauss, Lanner, and
Gungl, and other heavenly waltz-makers! With all their faults, they
know how to make the best of their lives, these good Vaterlanders,
and how to dance, and especially how to make music--and also how to
fight! So we won't quarrel with them, after all!

Barty found for himself a cheap bedroom, high up in an immense house
tenanted by many painters--some of them English and some American.
He never forgot the delight with which he awoke next morning and
opened his window and saw the silver Rhine among the trees, and the
fir-clad hills of Grafenberg, and heard the gay painter fellows
singing as they dressed; and he called out to the good-humored slavy
in the garden below:

"Johanna, mein Frühstück, bitte!"

A phrase he had carefully rehearsed with Daphne the evening before.

And, to his delight and surprise, Johanna understood the mysterious
jargon quite easily, and brought him what he wanted with the most
good-humored grin he had ever seen on a female face.

Coffee and a roll and a pat of butter.

First of all, he went to see Dr. Hasenclever at Riffrath, which was
about half an hour by train, and then half an hour's walk--an
immensely prosperous village, which owed its prosperity to the
famous doctor, who attracted patients from all parts of the globe,
even from America. The train that took Barty thither was full of
them; for some chose to live in Düsseldorf.

The great man saw his patients on the ground-floor of the König's
Hotel, the principal hotel in Riffrath, the hall of which was always
crowded with these afflicted ones--patiently waiting each his turn,
or hers; and there Barty took his place at four in the afternoon; he
had sent in his name at 10 A.M., and been told that he would be seen
after four o'clock. Then he walked about the village, which was
charming, with its gabled white houses, ornamented like the cottages
in the Richter albums by black beams--and full of English, many of
them with green shades or blue spectacles or a black patch over one
eye; some of them being led, or picking their way by means of a
stick, alas!

Barty met the three Royces, walking with an old gentleman of
aristocratic appearance, and a very nice-looking young one (who was
Captain Graham-Reece). The Admiral gave him a friendly nod--Lady
Jane a nod that almost amounted to a cut direct. But the divine
Julia gave him a look and a smile that were warm enough to make up
for much maternal frigidity.

Later on, in a tobacconist's shop, he again met the Admiral, who
introduced him to the aristocratic old gentleman, Mr. Beresford
Duff, secretary to the Admiralty--who evidently knew all about him,
and inquired quite affectionately after Lady Caroline, and invited
him to come and drink tea at five o'clock: a new form of hospitality
of his own invention--it has caught on!

Barty lunched at the König's Hotel table d'hôte, which was crowded,
principally with English people, none of whom he had ever met or
heard of. But from these he heard a good deal of the Royces and
Captain Graham-Reece and Mr. Beresford Duff, and other smart people
who lived in furnished houses or expensive apartments away from the
rest of the world, and were objects of general interest and
curiosity among the smaller British fry.

Riffrath was a microcosm of English society, from the lower middle class
upwards, with all its respectabilities and incompatibilities and
disabilities--its narrownesses and meannesses and snobbishnesses, its
gossipings and backbitings and toadyings and snubbings--delicate little
social things of England that foreigners don't understand!

The sensation of the hour was the advent of Julia, the divine Julia!
Gossip was already rife about her and Captain Reece. They had taken
a long walk in the woods together the day before--with Lady Jane and
the Admiral far behind, out of ear-shot, almost out of sight.

In the afternoon, between four and five, Barty had his interview
with the doctor--a splendid, white-haired old man, of benign and
intelligent aspect, almost mesmeric, with his assistant sitting by

He used no new-fangled ophthalmoscope, but asked many questions in
fairly good French, and felt with his fingers, and had many German
asides with the assistant. He told Barty that he had lost the sight
of his left eye forever; but that with care he would keep that of
the right one for the rest of his life--barring accidents, of
course. That he must never eat cheese nor drink beer. That he (the
doctor) would like to see him once a week or fortnight or so for a
few months yet--and gave him a prescription for an eye-lotion and
dismissed him happy.

Half a loaf is so much better than no bread, if you can only count
upon it!

Barty went straight to Mr. Beresford Duff's, and there found a very
agreeable party, including the divine Julia, who was singing little
songs very prettily and accompanying herself on a guitar.

"'You ask me why I look so pale?'" sang Julia, just as Barty
entered: and red as a rose was she.

Lady Jane didn't seem at all overjoyed to see Barty, but Julia did,
and did not disguise the seeming.

There were eight or ten people there, and they all appeared to know
about him, and all that concerned or belonged to him. It was the old
London world over again, in little! the same tittle-tattle about
well-known people, and nothing else--as if nothing else existed; a
genial, easy-going, good-natured world, that he had so often found
charming for a time, but in which he was never quite happy and had
no proper place of his own, all through that fatal bar-sinister--la
barre de bâtardise; a world that was his and yet not his, and in
whose midst his position was a false one, but where every one took
him for granted at once as one of _them_, so long as he never
trespassed beyond that sufferance; that there must be no love-making
to lovely young heiresses by the bastard of Antoinette Josselin was
taken for granted also!

[Illustration: "'YOU ASK ME WHY I LOOK SO PALE?'"]

Before Barty had been there half an hour two or three people had
evidently lost their hearts to him in friendship; among them, to Lady
Jane's great discomfiture, the handsome and amiable Graham-Reece, the
cynosure of all female eyes in Riffrath; and when Barty (after very
little pressing by Miss Royce) twanged her guitar and sang little
songs--French and English, funny and sentimental--he became, as he had
so often become in other scenes, the Rigoletto of the company; and
Riffrath was a kingdom in which he might be court jester in ordinary if
he chose, whenever he elected to honor it with his gracious and
facetious musical presence.

So much for his début in that strange little overgrown busy
village! What must it be like now?

Dr. Hasenclever has been gathered to his fathers long ago, and
nobody that I know of has taken his place. All those new hotels and
lodging-houses and smart shops--what can they have been turned into?
Barracks? prisons? military hospitals and sanatoriums? How dull!

Lady Caroline and Daphne and Barty between them added considerably
to the gayety of Düsseldorf that summer--especially when Royces and
Reeces and Duffs and such like people came there from Riffrath to
lunch, or tea, or dinner, or for walks or drives or rides to
Grafenberg or Neanderthal, or steamboatings to Neuss.

There were one or two other English families in Düsseldorf, living
there for economy's sake, but yet of the world--of the kind that got
to be friends with the Rohans; half-pay old soldiers and sailors and
their families, who introduced agreeable and handsome Uhlans and
hussars--from their Serene Highnesses the Princes Fritz and Hans von
Eselbraten--Himmelsblutwürst--Silberschinken, each passing rich on
£200 a year, down to poor Lieutenants von this or von that, with
nothing but their pay and their thirty-two quarterings.

Also a few counts and barons, and princes not serene, but with fine
German fortunes looming for them in the future, though none
amounting to £1000 a day, like little Lord Orrisroot's!

Soon there was hardly a military heart left whole in the town; Julia
had eaten them all up, except one or two that had been unconsciously
nibbled by little Daphne.

Barty did not join in these aristocratic revels; he had become a
pupil of Herr Duffenthaler, and worked hard in his master's studio
with two brothers of the brush--one English, the other American;
delightful men who remained his friends for life.

Indeed, he lived among the painters, who all got to love "der schöne
Barty Josselin" like a brother.

Now and then, of an evening, being much pressed by his aunt, he
would show himself at a small party in Schadow Strasse, and sing and
be funny, and attentive to the ladies, and render himself discreetly
useful and agreeable all round--and make that party go off. Lady
Caroline would have been far happier had he lived with them
altogether. But she felt herself responsible for her innocent and
wealthy little niece.

It was an article of faith with Lady Caroline that no normal and
properly constituted young woman could see much of Barty without
falling over head and ears in love with him--and this would never do
for Daphne. Besides, they were first-cousins. So she acquiesced in
the independence of his life apart from them. She was not
responsible for the divine Julia, who might fall in love with him
just as she pleased, and welcome! That was Lady Jane's lookout, and
Captain Graham-Reece's.

But Barty always dined with his aunt and cousin on Thursdays and
Sundays, after listening to the music in Geissler's Garden,
opposite, and drinking coffee with them there, and also with Prince
Fritz and Prince Hans, who always joined the party and smoked their
cheap cigars; and sometimes the divine Julia would make one of the
party too, with her mother and uncle and Captain Reece; and the good
painter fellows would envy from afar their beloved but too fortunate
comrade; and the hussars and Uhlans, von this and von that, would
find seats and tables as near the princely company as possible.

And every time a general officer entered the garden, up stood every
officer of inferior rank till the great man had comfortably seated
himself somewhere in the azure sunshine of Julia's forget-me-not
warm glance.

And before the summer had fulfilled itself, and the roses at
Geissler's were overblown, it became evident to Lady Caroline, if to
none other, that Julia had eyes for no one else in the world but
Barty Josselin. I had it from Lady Caroline herself.

But Barty Josselin had eyes only (such eyes as they were) for his
work at Herr Duffenthaler's, and lived laborious days, except on
Thursday and Sunday afternoons, and shunned delights, except to dine
at the Runsberg Speiserei with his two fellow-pupils, and Henley and
Armstrong and Bancroft and du Maurier and others, all painters,
mostly British and Yankee; and an uncommonly lively and agreeable
repast that was! And afterwards, long walks by moon or star light,
or music at each other's rooms, and that engrossing technical shop
talk that never palls on those who talk it. No Guardsman's talk of
turf or sport or the ballet had ever been so good as this, in
Barty's estimation; no agreeable society gossip at Mr. Beresford
Duff's Riffrath tea-parties!


Once in every fortnight or so Barty would report himself to Dr.
Hasenclever, and spend the day in Riffrath and lunch with the good old
Beresford Duff, who was very fond of him, and who lamented over his loss
of caste in devoting himself professionally to art.

"God bless me--my dear Barty, you don't mean to say you're going to
paint for _hire_!"

"Indeed I am, if any one will hire me. How else am I to live?"

"Well, _you_ know best, my dear boy; but I should have thought the
Rohans might have got you something better than _that_. It's true,
Buckner does it, and Swinton, and Francis Grant! But _still_, you
know ... there _are_ other ways of getting on for a fellow like you.
Look at Prince Gelbioso, who ran away with the Duchess of Flitwick!
He didn't sing a bit better than you do, and as for looks, you beat
him hollow, my dear boy; yet all London went mad about Prince
Gelbioso, and so did she; and off she bolted with him, bag and
baggage, leaving husband and children and friends and all! and she'd
got ten thousand a year of her own; and when the Duke divorced her
they were married, and lived happily ever after--in Italy; and some
of the best people called upon 'em, by George!... just to spite the

Barty felt it would seem priggish or even insincere if he were to
disclaim any wish to emulate Prince Gelbioso; so he merely said he
thought painting easier on the whole, and not so risky; and the good
Beresford Duff talked of other things--of the divine Julia, and what
a good thing it would be if she and Graham-Reece could make a match
of it.

"Two of the finest fortunes in England, by George! they _ought_ to
come together, if only just for the fun of the thing! Not that she
is a bit in love with him--I'll eat my hat if she is! What a pity
_you_ ain't goin' to be Lord Ironsides, Barty!"

Barty frankly confessed _he_ shouldn't much object, for one.

"But, 'ni l'or ni la grandeur ne nous rendent heureux,' as we used
to be taught at school."

"Ah, that's all gammon; wait till you're _my_ age, my young friend,
and as poor as _I_ am," said Beresford Duff. And so the two friends
talked on, Mentor and Telemachus--and we needn't listen any further.

Part Seventh

        "Old winter was gone
    In his weakness back to the mountains hoar,
        And the spring came down
    From the planet that hovers upon the shore
    Where the sea of sunlight encroaches
    On the limits of wintry night;
    If the land, and the air, and the sea
    Rejoice not when spring approaches,
    We did not rejoice in thee,

Riffrath, besides its natives and its regular English colony of
residents, had a floating population that constantly changed. And
every day new faces were to be found drinking tea with Mr. Beresford
Duff--and all these faces were well known in society at home, you
may be sure; and Barty made capital caricatures of them all, which
were treasured up and carried back to England; one or two of them
turn up now and then at a sale at Christie's and fetch a great
price. I got a little pen-and-ink outline of Captain Reece there,
drawn before he came into the title. I had to give forty-seven
pounds ten for it, not only because it was a speaking likeness of
the late Lord Ironsides as a young man, but on account of the little
"B. J." in the corner.

And only the other evening I sat at dinner next to the Dowager
Countess. Heavens! what a beautiful creature she still is, with her
prematurely white hair and her long thick neck!

And after dinner we talked of Barty--she with that delightful
frankness that always characterized her through life, I am told:

"Dear Barty Josselin! how desperately in love I was with that man,
to be sure! Everybody was--he might have thrown the handkerchief as
he pleased in Riffrath, I can tell you, Sir Robert! He was the
handsomest man I ever saw, and wore a black pork-pie hat and a
little yellow Vandyck beard and mustache; just the color of Turkish
tobacco, like his hair! All that sounds odd now, doesn't it?
Fashions have changed--but not for the better! And what a figure!
and such fun he was! and always in such good spirits, poor boy! and
now he's dead, and it's one of the greatest names in all the world!
Well, if he'd thrown that handkerchief at me just about then, I
should have picked it up--and you're welcome to tell all the world
so, Sir Robert!"

       *       *       *       *       *

And next day I got a kind and pretty little letter:

    "Dear Sir Robert,--I was quite serious last night. Barty Josselin
    was _mes premières amours_! Whether he ever guessed it or not, I
    can't say. If not, he was very obtuse! Perhaps he feared to fall,
    and didn't feel fain to climb in consequence. I all but proposed to
    him, in fact! Anyhow, I am proud my girlish fancy should have fallen
    on such a man!

    "I told him so myself only last year, and we had a good laugh over
    old times; and then I told his wife, and she seemed much pleased. I
    can understand his preference, and am old enough to forgive it and
    laugh--although there is even now a tear in the laughter. You know
    his daughter, Julia Mainwaring, is my godchild; sometimes she sings
    her father's old songs to me:

        "'Petit chagrin de notre enfance
            Coûte un soupir!'

    "Do you remember?

    "Poor Ironsides knew all about it when he married me, and often
    declared I had amply made up to him for that and many other
    things--over and over again. Il avait bien raison; and made of me a
    very happy wife and a most unhappy widow.

    "Put this in your book, if you like.

    "Sincerely yours,

                                                  "Julia Ironsides."

Thus time flowed smoothly and pleasantly for Barty all through the
summer. In August the Royces left, and also Captain Reece--they for
Scotland, he for Algiers--and appointed to meet again in Riffrath
next spring.

In October Lady Caroline took her niece to Rome, and Barty was left
behind to his work, very much to her grief and Daphne's.

He wrote to them every Monday, and always got a letter back on the
Saturday following.

Barty spent the winter hard at work, but with lots of play between,
and was happy among his painter fellows--and sketching and
caricaturing, and skating and sleighing with the English who
remained in Düsseldorf, and young von this and young von that. I
have many of his letters describing this genial, easy life--letters
full of droll and charming sketches.


He does not mention the fair Julia much, but there is no doubt that the
remembrance of her much preoccupied him, and kept him from losing his
heart to any of the fair damsels, English and German, whom he skated and
danced with, and sketched and sang to.

As a matter of fact, he had never yet lost his heart in his
life--not even to Julia. He never said much about his love-making
with Julia to me. But his aunt did--and I listened between the
words, as I always do. His four or five years' career in London as a
thoroughgoing young rake had given him a very deep insight into
woman's nature--an insight rare at his age, for all his perceptions
were astonishingly acute, and his unconscious faculty of sympathetic
observation and induction and deduction immense.

And, strange to say, if that heart had never been touched, it had
never been corrupted either, and probably for that very reason--that
he had never been in love with these sirens. It is only when true
love fades away at last in the arms of lust that the youthful, manly
heart is wrecked and ruined and befouled.

He made up his mind that art should be his sole mistress
henceforward, and that the devotion of a lifetime would not be price
enough to pay for her favors, if but she would one day be kind. He
had to make up for so much lost time, and had begun his wooing so
late! Then he was so happy with his male friends! Whatever void
remained in him when his work was done for the day could be so
thoroughly filled up by Henley and Bancroft and Armstrong and du
Maurier and the rest that there was no room for any other and warmer
passion. Work was a joy by itself; the rest from it as great a joy;
and these alternations were enough to fill a life. To how many great
artists had they sufficed! and what happy lives had been led, with
no other distraction, and how glorious and successful! Only the
divine Julia, in all the universe, was worthy to be weighed in the
scales with these, and she was not for the likes of Mr. Nobody of

Besides, there was the faithful Martia. Punctually every evening the
ever-comforting sense of the north filled him as he jumped into bed;
and he whispered his prayers audibly to this helpful spirit, or
whatever it might be, that had given him a sign and saved him from a
cowardly death, and filled his life and thoughts as even no Julia

And yet, although he loved best to forgather with those of his own
sex, woman meant much for him! There _must_ be a woman somewhere in
the world--a needle in a bottle of hay--a nature that could dovetail
and fit in with his own; but what a life-long quest to find her! She
must be young and beautiful, like Julia--rien que ça!--and as kind
and clever and simple and well-bred and easy to live with as Aunt
Caroline, and, heavens! how many things besides, before poor Mr.
Nobody of Nowhere could make her happy, and be made happy by her!

So Mr. Nobody of Nowhere gave it up, and stuck to his work, and made
much progress, and was well content with things as they were.

He had begun late, and found many difficulties in spite of his great
natural facility. His principal stock in trade was his keen
perception of human beauty, of shape and feature and expression,
male or female--of face or figure or movement; and a great love and
appreciation of human limbs, especially hands and feet.

With a very few little pen-strokes he could give the most
marvellously subtle likenesses of people he knew--beautiful or
ordinary or plain or hideous; and the beauty of the beautiful
people, just hinted in mere outline, was so keen and true and
fascinating that this extraordinary power of expressing it amounted
to real genius.

It is a difficult thing, even for a master, to fully render with an
ordinary steel pen and a drop of common ink (and of a size no bigger
than your little finger nail) the full face of a beautiful woman,
let us say; or a child, in sadness or merriment or thoughtful
contemplation; and make it as easily and unmistakably recognizable
as a good photograph, but with all the subtle human charm and
individuality of expression delicately emphasized in a way that no
photograph has ever achieved yet.

And this he could always do in a minute from sheer memory and
unconscious observation; and in another few minutes he would add on
the body, in movement or repose, and of a resemblance so wonderful
and a grace so enchanting, or a humor so happily, naïvely droll,
that one forgot to criticise the technique, which was quite that of
an amateur; indeed, with all the success he achieved as an artist,
he remained an amateur all his life. Yet his greatest admirers were
among the most consummate and finished artists of their day, both
here and abroad.

It was with his art as with his singing: both were all wrong, yet
both gave extraordinary pleasure; one almost feared that regular
training would mar the gift of God, so much of the charm we all so
keenly felt lay in the very imperfections themselves--just as one
loved him personally as much for his faults as for his virtues.

"Il a les qualités de ses défauts, le beau Josselin," said M. Taine
one day.

"Mon cher," said M. Renan, "ses défauts sont ses meilleures

So he spent a tranquil happy winter, and wrote of his happiness and
his tranquillity to Lady Caroline and Daphne and Ida and me; and
before he knew where he was, or we, the almond-trees blossomed
again, and then the lilacs and limes and horse-chestnuts and
syringas; and the fireflies flew in and out of his bedroom at night,
and the many nightingales made such music in the Hof gardens that he
could scarcely sleep for them; and other nightingales came to make
music for him too--most memorable music! Stockhausen, Jenny Ney,
Joachim, Madame Schumann; for the triennial Musik festival was held
in Düsseldorf that year (a month later than usual); and musical
festivals are things they manage uncommonly well in Germany. Barty,
unseen and unheard, as becomes a chorus-singer, sang in the choruses
of Gluck's _Iphigenia_, and heard and saw everything for nothing.

But, before this, Captain Reece came back to Riffrath, and,
according to appointment, Admiral Royce and Lady Jane, and Julia,
lovelier than ever; and all the sweetness she was so full of rose in
her heart and gathered in her eyes as they once more looked on Barty

He steeled and stiffened himself like a man who knew that the divine
Julias of this world were for his betters--not for him!
Nevertheless, as he went to bed, and thought of the melting gaze
that had met his, he was deeply stirred; and actually, though the
north was in him, he forgot, for the first time in all that
twelvemonth, for the first time since that terrible night in
Malines, to say his prayers to Martia--and next morning he found a
letter by his bedside in pencil-written blaze of his own

    "Barty my Beloved,--A crisis has come in your affairs, which are
    mine; and, great as the cost is to me, I must write again, at the
    risk of betraying what amounts to a sacred trust; a secret that I
    have innocently surprised, the secret of a noble woman's heart.

    "One of the richest girls in England, one of the healthiest and most
    beautiful women in the whole world, a bride fit for an emperor, is
    yours for the asking. It is my passionate wish, and a matter of life
    and death to me, that you and Julia Royce should become man and
    wife; when you are, you shall both know why.

    "Mr. Nobody of Nowhere--as you are so fond of calling yourself--you
    shall be such, some day, that the best and highest in the land will
    be only too proud to be your humble friends and followers; no woman
    is too good for you--only one good enough! and she loves you: of
    that I feel sure--and it is impossible you should not love her back

    "I have known her from a baby, and her father and mother also; I
    have inhabited her, as I have inhabited you, although I have never
    been able to give her the slightest intimation of the fact. You are
    both, physically, the most perfect human beings I was ever in; and
    in heart and mind the most simply made, the most richly gifted, and
    the most admirably balanced; and I have inhabited many thousands,
    and in all parts of the globe.

    "You, Barty, are the only one I have ever been able to hold
    communication with, or make to feel my presence; it was a strange
    chance, that--a happy accident; it saved your life. I am the only
    one, among many thousands of homeless spirits, who has ever been
    able to influence an earthly human being, or even make him feel the
    magnetic current that flows through us all, and by which we are able
    to exist; all the rappings and table-turnings are mere hysterical
    imaginations, or worse--the cheapest form of either trickery or
    self-deception that can be. Barty, your unborn children are of a
    moment to me beyond anything you can realize or imagine, and Julia
    must be their mother; Julia Royce, and no other woman in the world.

    "It is in you to become so great when you are ripe that she will
    worship the ground you walk upon; but you can only become as great
    as that through her and through me, who have a message to deliver
    to mankind here on earth, and none but you to give it a voice--not
    one. But I must have my reward, and that can only come through your
    marriage with Julia.

    "When you have read this, Barty, go straight to Riffrath, and see
    Julia if you can, and be to her as you have so often been to any
    women you wished to please, and who were not worth pleasing. Her
    heart is her own to give, like her fortune; she can do what she
    likes with them both, and will--her mother notwithstanding, and in
    the teeth of the whole world.

    "Poor as you are, maimed as you are, irregularly born as you are, it
    is better for her that she should be your wife than the wife of any
    man living, whoever he be.

    "Look at yourself in the glass, and say at once,

    "'Martia, I'm off to Riffrath as soon as I've swallowed my

    "And then I'll go about my business with a light heart and an easy


Much moved and excited, Barty looked in the glass and did as he was
bid, and the north left him; and Johanna brought him his breakfast,
and he started for Riffrath.

       *       *       *       *       *

All through this winter that was so happily spent by Barty in
Düsseldorf things did not go very happily in London for the Gibsons.
Mr. Gibson was not meant for business; nature intended him as a
rival to Keeley or Buckstone.

He was extravagant, and so was his wife; they were both given to
frequent and most expensive hospitalities; and he to cards, and she
to dressing herself and her daughter more beautifully than quite
became their position in life. The handsome and prosperous shop in
Cheapside--the "emporium," as he loved to call it--was not enough to
provide for all these luxuries; so he took another in Conduit
Street, and decorated it and stocked it at immense expense, and
called it the "Universal Fur Company," and himself the "Head of a
West End firm."

Then he speculated, and was not successful, and his affairs got into

And a day came when he found he could not keep up these two shops
and his private house in Tavistock Square as well; the carriage was
put down first--a great distress to Mrs. Gibson; and finally, to her
intense grief, it became necessary to give up the pretty house

It was decided that their home in future most be over the new
emporium in Conduit Street; Mrs. Gibson had a properly constituted
English shopkeeper's wife's horror of living over her husband's
shop--the idea almost broke her heart; and as a little consolation,
while the necessary changes were being wrought for their altered
mode of life, Mr. Gibson treated her and Leah and my sister to a
trip up the Rhine--and Mrs. Bletchley, the splendid old Jewess
(Leah's grandmother), who suffered, or fancied she suffered, in her
eyesight, took it into her head that she would like to see the
famous Dr. Hasenclever in Riffrath, and elected to journey with
them--at all events as far as Düsseldorf. I would have escorted
them, but that my father was ill, and I had to replace him in Barge
Yard; besides, I was not yet quite cured of my unhappy passion,
though in an advanced stage of convalescence; and I did not wish to
put myself under conditions that might retard my complete recovery,
or even bring on a relapse. I wished to love Leah as a sister; in
time I succeeded in doing so; she has been fortunate in her brother,
though I say it who shouldn't--and, O heavens! haven't I been
fortunate in my sister Leah?

My own sister Ida wrote to Barty to find rooms and meet them at the
station, and fixed the day and hour of their arrival; and
commissioned him to take seats for Gluck's _Iphigenia_.

She thought more of _Iphigenia_ than of the Drachenfels or
Ehrenbreitstein; and was overjoyed at the prospect of once more
being with Barty, whom she loved as well as she loved me, if not
even better. He was fortunate in his sister, too!

And the Rhine in May did very well as a background to all these

So Mr. Babbage (the friend of the family) and I saw them safely on
board the _Baron Osy_ ("the Ank-works package," as Mrs. Gamp called
it), which landed them safely in the Place Verte at Antwerp; and
then they took train for Düsseldorf, changing at Malines and
Verviers; and looked forward eagerly, especially Ida, to the meeting
with Barty at the little station by the Rhine.

       *       *       *       *       *

Barty, as we know, started for Riffrath at Martia's written command,
his head full of perplexing thoughts.

Who was Martia? What was she? "A disembodied conscience?" Whose? Not
his own, which counselled the opposite course.

He had once seen a man at a show with a third rudimentary leg
sticking out behind, and was told this extra limb belonged to a
twin, the remaining portions of whom had not succeeded in getting
themselves begotten and born. Could Martia be a frustrated and
undeveloped twin sister of his own, that interested herself in his
affairs, and could see with his eyes and hear with his ears, and had
found the way of communicating with him during his sleep--and was
yet apart from him, as phenomenal twins are apart from each other,
however closely linked--and had, moreover, not managed to have any
part of her body born into this world at all?

She wrote like him; her epistolary style was his very own, every
turn of phrase, every little mannerism. The mystery of it
overwhelmed him again, though he had grown somewhat accustomed to
the idea during the last twelvemonth. _Why_ was she so anxious he
should marry Julia? Had he, situated as he was, the right to win the
love of this splendid creature, in the face of the world's
opposition and her family's--he, a beggar and a bastard? Would it be
right and honest and fair to her?

And then, again, was he so desperately in love with her, after all,
that he should give up the life of art and toil he had planned for
himself and go through existence as the husband of a rich and
beautiful woman belonging, first of all, to the world and society,
of which she was so brilliant an ornament that her husband must
needs remain in the background forever, even if he were a gartered
duke or a belted earl?

What success of his own would he ever hope to achieve, handicapped
as he would be by all the ease and luxury she would bring him? He
had grown to love the poverty which ever lends such strenuousness to
endeavor. He thought of an engraving he had once taken a fancy to in
Brussels, and purchased and hung up in his bedroom. _I_ have it now!
It is after Gallait, and represents a picturesquely poor violinist
and his violin in a garret, and underneath is written "Art et

Then he thought of Julia's lovely face and magnificent body--and all
his manhood thrilled as he recalled the look in her eyes when they
met his the day before.

This was the strongest kind of temptation by which his nature could
ever be assailed--he knew himself to be weak as water when that came
his way, the ten-thousandth face (and the figure to match)! He had
often prayed to Martia to deliver him from such a lure. But here was
Martia on the side of the too sweet enemy!

The train stopped for a few minutes at Neanderthal, and he thought
he could think better if he got out and walked in that beautiful
valley an hour or two--there was no hurry; he would take another
train later, in time to meet Julia at Beresford Duff's, where she
was sure to be. So he walked among the rocks, the lonely rocks, and
sat and pondered in the famous cave where the skull was found--that
simple prehistoric cranium which could never have been so
pathetically nonplussed by such a dilemma as this when it was a
human head!

And the more he pondered the less he came to a conclusion. It seemed
as though there were the "tug of war" between Martia and all that he
felt to be best in himself--his own conscience, his independence as
a man, his sense of honor. He took her letter out of his pocket to
re-read, and with it came another letter; it was from my sister, Ida
Maurice. It told him when they would arrive in Düsseldorf.

He jumped up in alarm--it was that very day. He had quite forgotten!

He ran off to the station, and missed a train, and had to wait an
hour for another; but he got himself to the Rhine station in
Düsseldorf a few minutes before the train from Belgium arrived.

Everything was ready for the Gibson party--lodgings and tea and
supper to follow--he had seen to all that before; so there he walked
up and down, waiting, and still revolving over and over again in his
mind the troublous question that so bewildered and oppressed him.
Who was Martia? what was she--that he should take her for a guide in
the most momentous business of his life; and what were her

And what was love? Was it love he felt for this young goddess with
yellow hair and light-blue eyes so like his own, who towered in her
full-blown frolicsome splendor among the sons and daughters of men,
with her moist, ripe lips so richly framed for happy love and
laughter--that royal milk-white fawn that had only lain in the roses
and fed on the lilies of life?

"Oh, Mr. Nobody of Nowhere! be at least a man; let no one ever call you
the basest thing an able-bodied man can become, a fortune-hunting

Then a bell rang, and the smoke of the coming train was visible--ten
minutes late. The tickets were taken, and it slowed into the station
and stopped. Ida's head and face were seen peering through one of
the second-class windows, on the lookout, and Barty opened the door
and there was a warm and affectionate greeting between them; the
meeting was joy to both.

Then he was warmly greeted by Mrs. Gibson, who introduced him to her
mother; then he was conscious of somebody he had not seen yet
because she stood at his blind side (indeed, he had all but
forgotten her existence); namely, the presence of a very tall and
most beautiful dark-haired young lady, holding out her slender
gloved hand and gazing up into his face with the most piercing and
strangest and blackest eyes that ever were; yet so soft and quick
and calm and large and kind and wise and gentle that their
piercingness was but an added seduction; one felt they could never
pierce too deep for the happiness of the heart they pronged and
riddled and perforated through and through!

Involuntarily came into Barty's mind, as he shook the slender hand,
a little song of Schubert's he had just learnt:

    "Du dist die Ruh', der Friede mild!"

And wasn't it odd?--all his doubts and perplexities resolved
themselves at once, as by some enchantment, into a lovely,
unexpected chord of extreme simplicity; and Martia was gently but
firmly put aside, and the divine Julia quietly relegated to the
gilded throne which was her fit and proper apanage.

Barty saw to the luggage, and sent it on, and they all went on foot
behind it.

The bridge of boats across the Rhine was open in the middle to let a
wood-raft go by down stream. This raft from some distant forest was
so long they had to wait nearly twenty minutes; and the prow of it
had all but lost itself in the western purple and gold and dun of
sky and river while it was still passing the bridge.

All this was new and delightful to the Londoners, who were also
delighted with the rooms Barty had taken for them in the König's
Allee and the tea that awaited them there. Leah made tea, and gave a
cup to Barty. That was a good cup of tea, better even than the tea
Julia was making (that very moment, no doubt) at Beresford Duff's.

Then the elder ladies rested, and Barty took Leah and Ida for a walk
in the Hof gardens. They were charmed with everything--especially
the fire-flies at dusk. Leah said little; she was not a very
talkative person outside her immediate family circle. But Ida and
Barty had much to say.

Then home to supper at the Gibsons' lodgings, and Barty sat opposite
Leah, and drank in the beauty of her face, which had so wonderfully
ripened and accentuated and individualized itself since he had seen
her last, three years before.

As he discreetly gazed, whenever she was not looking his way, saying
to himself, like Geraint: "'Here by God's rood is the one maid for
me,'" he suddenly felt the north, and started with a kind of terror
as he remembered Martia. He bade the company a hasty good-night, and
went for a long walk by the Rhine, and had a long talk with his

"Martia," said he, in a low but audible voice, "it's no good, I
_can't_; c'est plus fort que moi. I can't sell myself to a woman for
gold; besides, I can't fall in love with Julia; I don't know why,
but I _can't_; I will never marry her. I don't deserve that she
should care for me; perhaps she doesn't, perhaps you're quite
mistaken, and if she does, it's only a young girl's fancy. What does
a girl of that age really know about her own heart? and how base I
should be to take advantage of her innocence and inexperience!"

And then he went on in a passionate and eager voice to explain all
he had thought of during the day and still further defend his

"Give me at least your reasons, Martia; tell me, for God's sake, who
you are and what! Are you _me_? are you the spirit of my mother? Why
do you love me, as you say you do, with a love passing the love of
woman? What am I to you? Why are you so bent on worldly things?"

This monologue lasted more than an hour, and he threw himself on to
his bed quite worn out, and slept at once, in spite of the
nightingales, who filled the starlit, breezy, balmy night with their
shrill, sweet clamor.

Next morning, as he expected, he found a letter:

    "Barty, you are ruining me and breaking my life, and wrecking the
    plans of many years--plans made before you were, born or thought of.

    "Who am I, indeed? Who is this demure young black-eyed witch that
    has come between us, this friend of Ida Maurice's?

    "She's the cause of all my misery, I feel sure; with Ida's eyes I
    saw you look at her; you never yet looked at Julia like that!--never
    at any woman before!

    "Who is she? No mate for a man like you, I feel sure. In the first
    place, she is not rich; I could tell that by the querulous
    complaints of her middle-class mother. She's just fit to be some
    pious Quaker's wife, or a Sister of Charity, or a governess, or a
    hospital nurse, or a nun--no companion for a man destined to move
    the world!

    "Barty, you don't _know_ what you are; you have never _thought_; you
    have never yet looked _within_!

    "Barty, with Julia by your side and me at your back, you will be a
    leader of men, and sway the destinies of your country, and raise it
    above all other nations, and make it the arbiter of Europe--of the
    whole world--and your seed will ever be first among the foremost of
    the earth.

    "Will you give up all this for a pair of bright black eyes and a
    pretty white skin? Isn't Julia white enough for you?

    "A painter? What a trade for a man built like you! Take the greatest
    of them; what have they ever really mattered? What do they matter
    now, except to those who want to imitate them and can't, or to those
    who live by buying cheap the fruits of their long labors, and
    selling them dear as so much wall furniture for the vulgar rich?
    Besides, you will never be a great painter; you've begun too late!

    "Think of yourself ten years hence--a king among men, with the world
    at your feet, and at those of the glorious woman who will have
    smoothed your path to greatness and fame and power! Mistress and
    wife--goddess and queen in one!

    "Think of the poor struggling painter, painting his poor little
    pictures in his obscure corner to feed half a dozen hungry children
    and the anxious, careworn wife, whose beauty has long faded away in
    the petty, sordid, hopeless domestic struggle, just as her husband's
    little talent has long been wasted and used up in wretched
    pot-boilers for mere bread; think of poverty, debt, and degradation,
    and all the miserable ugliness of life--the truest, tritest, and
    oldest story in the world! Love soon flies out of the window when
    these wolves snarl at the door.

    "Think of all this, Barty, and think of the despair you are bringing
    on one lost lonely soul who loves you as a mother loves her
    first-born, and has founded such hopes on you; dismiss this pretty
    little middle-class puritan from your thoughts and go back to Julia.

    "I will not hurry your decision; I will come back in exactly a week
    from to-night. I am at your mercy.


This letter made Barty very unhappy. It was a strange dilemma.

What is it that now and again makes a woman in a single moment take
such a powerful grip of a man's fancy that he can never shake
himself free again, and never wants to?

Tunes can be like that, sometimes. Not the pretty little tinkling
tunes that please everybody at once; the pleasure of them can fade
in a year, a month--even a week, a day! But those from a great mint,
and whose charm will last a man his lifetime!

Many years ago a great pianist, to amuse some friends (of whom I was
one), played a series of waltzes by Schubert which I had never heard
before--the "Soirées de Vienne," I think they were called. They were
lovely from beginning to end; but one short measure in particular
was full of such extraordinary enchantment for me that it has really
haunted me through life. It is as if it were made on purpose for me
alone, a little intimate aside à mon intention--the gainliest,
happiest thought I had ever heard expressed in music. For nobody
else seemed to think those particular bars were more beautiful than
all the rest; but, oh! the difference to me!

And said I to myself: "That's Leah; and all the rest is some
heavenly garden of roses she's walking in!"

Tempo di valsa:

    _Rum_--tiddle-iddle _um_ tum tum,
      _Tid_dle-tiddle-iddle-iddle _um_ tum, tum
    _Tum_ tiddle iddle-iddle _um_ tum, tum
      _Tid_dle-iddle, iddle-_hay!_ ... etc., etc.

That's how the little measure begins, and it goes on just for a
couple of pages. I can't write music, unfortunately, and I've nobody
by me at just this moment who can; but if the reader is musical and
knows the "Soirées de Vienne," he will guess the particular waltz I

Well, the Düsseldorf railway station is not a garden of roses; but
when Leah stepped out of that second-class carriage and looked
straight at Barty, _dans le blanc des yeux_, he fitted her to the
tune _he_ loved best just then (not knowing the "Soirées de
Vienne"), and it's one of the tunes that last forever:

    "Du bist die Ruh', der Friede mild!"

Barty's senses were not as other men's senses. With his one eye he
saw much that most of _us_ can't see with two; I feel sure of this.
And he suddenly saw in Leah's face, now she was quite grown up, that
which bound him to her for life--some veiled promise, I suppose; we
can't explain these things.

       *       *       *       *       *

Barty escorted the Gibson party to Riffrath, and put down Mrs.
Bletchley's name for Dr. Hasenclever, and then took them to the
woods of Hammerfest, close by, with which they were charmed. On the
way back to the hotel they met Lady Jane and Miss Royce and the good
Beresford Duff, who all bowed to Barty, and Julia's blue glance
crossed Leah's black one.

"Oh, what a lovely girl!" said Leah to Barty. "What a pity she's so
tall; why, I'm sure she's half a head taller than even I, and they
make _my_ life a burden to me at home because I'm such a giantess!
Who is she? You know her well, I suppose?"

"She's a Miss Julia Royce, a great heiress. Her father's dead; he
was a wealthy Norfolk Squire, and she was his only child."

"Then I suppose she's a very aristocratic person; she looks so, I'm

"Very much so indeed," said Barty.

"Dear me! it seems unfair, doesn't it, having everything like that;
no wonder she looks so happy!"


Then they went back to the hotel to lunch; and in the afternoon Mrs.
Bletchley saw the doctor, who gave her a prescription for
spectacles, and said she had nothing to fear; and was charming to
Leah and to Ida, who spoke French so well, and to the pretty and
lively Mrs. Gibson, who lost her heart to him and spoke the most
preposterous French he had ever heard.

He was fond of pretty English women, the good German doctor,
whatever French they spoke.

They were quite an hour there. Meanwhile Barty went to Beresford
Duff's, and found Julia and Lady Jane drinking tea, as usual at that

"Who are your uncommonly well-dressed friends, Barty?" said Mr.
Duff. "I never met any of them that _I_ can remember."

"Well--they're just from London--the elder lady is a Mrs.

"Not one of the Berkshire Bletchleys, eh?"

"Oh no--she's the widow of a London solicitor."

"Dear me! And the lovely, tall, black-eyed _damigella_--who's she?"

"She's a Miss Gibson, and her father's a furrier in Cheapside."

"And the pretty girl in blue with the fair hair?"

"She's the sister of a very old friend of mine, Robert Maurice--he's
a wine merchant."

"You don't say so! Why, I took them for people of condition!" said
Mr. Beresford Duff, who was a trifle old-fashioned in his ways of
speech. "Anyhow, they're uncommonly nice to look at."

"Oh yes," said the not too priggishly grammatical Lady Jane;
"nowadays those sort of people dress like duchesses, and think
themselves as good as any one."

"They're good enough for _me_, at all events," said Barty, who was
not pleased.

"I'm sure Miss Gibson's good enough for _anybody in the world_!"
said Julia. "She's the most beautiful girl I ever saw!" and she gave
Barty a cup of tea.

Barty drank it, and felt fond of Julia, and bade them all good-bye,
and went and waited in the hall of the König's Hotel for his
friends, and took them back to Düsseldorf.

Next day the Gibsons started for their little trip up the Rhine, and
Barty was left to his own reflections, and he reflected a great
deal; not about what he meant to do himself, but about how he should
tell Martia what he meant to do.

As for himself, his mind was thoroughly made up: he would break at
once and forever with a world he did not properly belong to, and
fight his own little battle unaided, and be a painter--a good one,
if he could. If not, so much the worse for him. Life is short.

When he would have settled his affairs and paid his small debts in
Düsseldorf, he would have some ten or fifteen pounds to the good. He
would go back to London with the Gibsons and Ida Maurice. There were
no friends for him in the world like the Maurices. There was no
woman for him in the world like Leah, whether she would ever care
for him or not.

Rich or poor, he didn't mind! she was Leah; she had the hands, the
feet, the lips, the hair, the eyes! That was enough for him! He was
absolutely sure of his own feelings; absolutely certain that this
path was not only the pleasant path he liked, but the right one for
a man in his position to follow: a thorny path indeed, but the
thorns were thorns of roses!

All this time he was busily rehearsing his part in the chorus of
_Iphigenia_; he had applied for the post of second tenor chorister;
the conditions were that he should be able to read music at sight.
This he could not do, and his utter incapacity was tested at the
Mahlcasten, before a crowd of artists, by the conductor. Barty
failed signally, amid much laughter; and he impudently sang quite a
little tune of his own, an improvisation.

The conductor laughed too; but Barty was admitted all the same; his
voice was good, and he must learn his part by heart--that was all;
anybody could teach him.

The Gibsons came back to Düsseldorf in time for the performance,
which was admirable, in spite of Barty. From his coign of vantage,
amongst the second tenors, he could see Julia's head with its golden
fleece; Julia, that rose without a thorn--

    "Het Roosje uit de dorne!"

She was sitting between Lady Jane and the Captain.

He looked in vain for the Gibsons, as he sang his loudest, yet
couldn't hear himself sing (he was one of a chorus of avenging
furies, I believe).

But there were three vacant seats in the same row as the Royces'.
Presently three ladies, silken hooded and cloaked--one in yellow,
one in pink, and one in blue--made their way to the empty places,
just as the chorus ceased, and sat down. Just then Orestes
(Stockhausen) stood up and lifted his noble barytone.

    "Die Ruhe kehret mir zurück"--

And the yellow-hooded lady unhooded a shapely little black head, and
it was Leah's.

"_Prosit omen!_" thought Barty--and it seemed as if his whole heart
melted within him.

He could see that Leah and Julia often looked at each other; he
could also see, during the intervals, how many double-barrelled
opera-glasses were levelled at both; it was impossible to say which
of these two lovely women was the loveliest; probably most votes
would have been for Julia, the fair-haired one, the prima donna
assoluta, the soprano, the Rowena, who always gets the biggest
salary and most of the applause.

The brunette, the contralto, the Rebecca, dazzles less, but touches
the heart all the more deeply, perhaps; anyhow, Barty had no doubt
as to which of the two voices was the voice for him. His passion was
as that of Brian de Bois-Guilbert for mere strength, except that he
was bound by no vows of celibacy. There were no moonlit platonics
about Barty's robust love, but all the chivalry and tenderness and
romance of a knight-errant underlay its vigorous complexity. He was
a good knight, though not Sir Galahad!

Also he felt very patriotic, as a good knight should ever feel, and
proud of a country which could grow such a rose as Julia, and such a
lily as Leah Gibson.

Next to Julia sat Captain Reece, romantic and handsome as ever, with
manly love and devotion expressed in every line of his face, every
movement of his body; and the heaviest mustache and the most
beautiful brown whiskers in the world. He was either a hussar or a
lancer; I forget which.

"By my halidom," mentally ejaculated Barty, "I sincerely wish thee
joy and life-long happiness, good Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe. Thou art a
right fit mate for her, peerless as she may be among women! A
benison on you both from your poor Wamba, the son of Witless."

As he went home that night, after the concert, to his tryst with
Martia, the north came back to him--through the open window as it
were, with the fire-flies and fragrances, and the song of fifty
nightingales. It was for him a moment of deep and harassing emotion
and keen anxiety. He leaned over the window-sill and looked out on
the starlit heavens, and whispered aloud the little speech he had

"Martia, I have done my best. I would make any sacrifice to obey
you, but I cannot give up my freedom to love the woman that attracts
me as I have never been attracted before. I would sooner live a poor
and unsuccessful straggler in the art I have chosen, with her to
help me live, than be the mightiest man in England without her--even
with Julia, whom I admire as much, and even more!

"One can't help these things. They may be fancies, and one may live
to repent them; but while they last they are imperious, not to be
resisted. It's an instinct, I suppose; perhaps even a form of
insanity! But I love Leah's little-finger nail better than Julia's
lovely face and splendid body and all her thousands.

"Besides, I will not drag Julia down from her high position in the
world's eye, even for a day, nor owe anything to either man or woman
except love and fidelity! It grieves me deeply to disappoint you,
though I cannot understand your motives. If you love me as you say
you do, you ought to think of my happiness and honor before my
worldly success and prosperity, about which I don't care a button,
except for Leah's sake.

"Besides, I know myself better than you know me. I'm not one of
those hard, strong, stern, purposeful, Napoleonic men, with wills of
iron, that clever, ambitious women conceive great passions for!

[Illustration: "'MARTIA, I HAVE DONE MY BEST'"]

"I'm only a 'funny man'--a _gringalet-jocrisse!_ And now that I'm quite
grown up, and all my little funniments are over, I'm only fit to sit
and paint, with my one eye, in my little corner, with a contented little
wife, who won't want me to do great things and astonish the world.
There's no place like home; faire la popotte ensemble au coin du
feu--c'est le ciel!

"And if I'm half as clever as you say, it'll all come out in my
painting, and I shall be rich and famous, and all off my own bat.
I'd sooner be Sir Edwin Landseer than Sir Robert Peel, or Pam, or

"Even to retain your love and protection and interest in me, which I
value almost as much as I value life itself, I can't do as you wish.
Don't desert me, Martia. I may be able to make it all up to you some
day; after all, you can't foresee and command the future, nor can I.
It wouldn't be worth living for if we could! It would all be
discounted in advance!

"I may yet succeed in leading a useful, happy life; and that should
be enough for you if it's enough for me, since I am your beloved,
and as you love me as your son.... Anyhow, my mind is made up for
good and all, and...."

Here the sensation of the north suddenly left him, and he went to
his bed with the sense of bereavement that had punished him all the
preceding week: desperately sad, all but heart-broken, and feeling
almost like a culprit, although his conscience, whatever that was
worth, was thoroughly at ease, and his intent inflexible.

A day or two after this he must have received a note from Julia,
making an appointment to meet him at the Ausstellung, in the Allee
Strasse, a pretty little picture-gallery, since he was seen there
sitting in deep conversation with Miss Royce in a corner, and both
seeming much moved; neither the Admiral nor Lady Jane was with them,
and there was some gossip about it in the British colony both in
Düsseldorf and Riffrath.

Barty, who of late years has talked to me so much, and with such
affectionate admiration, of "Julia Countess," as he called her,
never happened to have mentioned this interview; he was very
reticent about his love-makings, especially about any love that was
made to him.

I made so bold as to write to Julia, Lady Ironsides, and ask her if
it were true they had met like this, and if I might print her
answer, and received almost by return of post the following kind and
characteristic letter:

                                               "96 Grosvenor Square.

    "Dear Sir Robert,--You're quite right; I did meet him, and I've no
    objection whatever to telling you how it all happened--and you may
    do as you like.

    "It happened just like this (you must remember that I was only just
    out, and had always had my own way in everything).

    "Mamma and I and Uncle James (the Admiral) and Freddy Reece
    (Ironsides, you know) went to the Musikfest in Düsseldorf. Barty was
    singing in the chorus. I saw him opening and shutting his mouth and
    could almost fancy I heard him, poor dear boy.

    "Leah Gibson, as she was then, sat near to me, with her mother and
    your sister. Leah Gibson looked like--well, _you_ know what she
    looked like in those days. By-the-way, I can't make out how it is
    you weren't over head and ears in love with her yourself! I thought
    her the loveliest girl I had ever seen, and felt very unhappy.

    "We slept at the hotel that night, and on the way back to Riffrath
    next morning Freddy Reece proposed to me.

    "I told him I couldn't marry him--but that I loved him as a sister,
    and all that; I really was very fond of him indeed, but I didn't
    want to marry him; I wanted to marry Barty, in fact; and make him
    rich and famous, as I felt sure he would be some day, whether I
    married him or not.

    "But there was that lovely Leah Gibson, the furrier's daughter!

    "When we got home to Riffrath mamma found she'd got a cold, and had
    a fancy for a French thing called a 'loch'; I think her cold was
    suddenly brought on by my refusing poor Freddy's offer!

    "I went with Grissel, the maid (who knew about _lochs_), to the
    Riffrath chemist's, but he didn't even know what we meant--so I told
    mamma I would go and get a _loch_ in Düsseldorf next day if she
    liked, with Uncle James. Mamma was only too delighted, for next day
    was Mr. Josselin's day for coming to Riffrath; but he didn't, for I
    wrote to him to meet me at twelve at a little picture-gallery I knew
    of in the Allee Strasse--as I wanted to have a talk with him.

    "Uncle James had caught a cold too, so I went with Grissel; and
    found a chemist who'd been in France, and knew what a loch was and
    made one for me; and then I went to the gallery, and there was poor
    Barty sitting on a crimson velvet couch, under a picture of Milton
    dictating _Paradise Lost_ to his daughters (I bought it afterwards,
    and I've got it now).

    "We said how d'ye do, and sat on the couch together, and I felt
    dreadfully nervous and ashamed.

    "Then I said:

    "'You must think me very odd, Mr. Josselin, to ask you to meet me
    like this!'

    "'I think it's a very great honor!' he said; 'I only wish I deserved

    "And then he said nothing for quite five minutes, and I think he
    felt as uncomfortable as I did.


    "'Captain Graham-Reece has asked me to be his wife, and I refused,'
    I said.

    "'Why did you refuse? He's one of the best fellows I've ever met,'
    said Barty.

    "'He's to be so rich, and so am I,' I said.

    "No answer.

    "'It would be right for me to marry a _poor_ man--man with brains
    and no money, you know, and help him to make his way.'

    "'Reece has plenty of brains too,' said Barty.

    "'Oh, Mr. Josselin--don't misunderstand me'--and then I began to
    stammer and look foolish.

    "'Miss Royce--I've only got £15 in the world, and with that I mean
    to go to London and be an artist; and comfort myself during the
    struggle by the delightful remembrance of Riffrath and Reece and
    yourself--and the happy hope of meeting you both again some day,
    when I shall no longer be the poor devil I am now, and am quite
    content to be! And when you and he are among the great of the earth,
    if you will give me each a commission to paint your portraits I will
    do my very best!' (and he smiled his irresistible smile). 'You will
    be kind, I am sure, to Mr. Nobody of Nowhere, the famous
    portrait-painter--who doesn't even bear his father's name--as he has
    no right to it.'

    "I could have flung my arms round his neck and kissed him! What did
    _I_ care about his father's name?

    "'Will you think me dreadfully bold and indiscreet, Mr. Josselin, if
    I--if I--' (I stammered fearfully.)

    "'If you _what_, Miss Royce?'

    "'If I--if I ask you if you--if you--think Miss Gibson the most
    beautiful girl you ever saw?'

    "'Honestly, I think _you_ the most beautiful girl I ever saw!'

    "'Oh, that's _nonsense_, Mr. Josselin, although I ought to have
    known you would say that! I'm not fit to tie her shoes. What I mean
    is--a--a--oh! forgive me--are you very _fond_ of her, as I'm sure
    she deserves, you know?'

    "'Oh yes, Miss Royce, very fond of her indeed; she's poor, she's of
    no family, she's Miss Nobody of Nowhere, you know; she's all that I
    am, except that she has a right to her honest father's name--'

    "'Does she _know_ you're very fond of her?'

    "'No; but I hope to tell her so some day.'

    "Then we were silent, and I felt very red, and very much inclined to
    cry, but I managed to keep in my tears.

    "Then I got up, and so did he--and he made some joke about Grissel
    and the loch-bottle; and we both laughed quite naturally and looked
    at the pictures, and he told me he was going back to London with the
    Gibsons that very week, and thanked me warmly for my kind interest
    in him, and assured me he thoroughly deserved it--and talked so
    funnily and so nicely that I quite forgave myself. I really don't
    think he guessed for one moment what I had been driving at all the
    while; I got back all my self-respect; I felt so grateful to him
    that I was fonder of him than ever, though no longer so idiotically
    in love. He was not for me. He had somehow laughed me into love with
    him, and laughed me out of it.

    "Then I bade him good-bye, and squeezed his hand with all my heart,
    and told him how much I should like some day to meet Miss Gibson
    and be her friend if she would let me.

    "Then I went back to Riffrath and took mamma her loch; but she no
    longer wanted it, for I told her I had changed my mind about Freddy,
    and that cured her like magic; and she kissed me on both cheeks and
    called me her dear, darling, divine Julia. Poor, sweet mamma!

    "I had given her many a bad quarter of an hour, but this good moment
    made up for them all.

    "She was eighty-two last birthday, and can still read Josselin's
    works in the cheap edition without spectacles--thanks, no doubt, to
    the famous Doctor Hasenclever! She reads nothing else!

    "Et voilà comment ça s'est passé.

    "It's I that'll be the proud woman when I read this letter, printed,
    in your life of Josselin.

    "Yours sincerely,

                                                   "Julia Ironsides.

    "P. S.--I've actually just told mamma--and I'm still her dear,
    darling, divine Julia!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Charming as were Barty's remembrances of Düsseldorf, the most
charming of all was his remembrance of going aboard the little
steamboat bound for Rotterdam, one night at the end of May, with old
Mrs. Bletchley, Mrs. Gibson and her daughter, and my sister Ida.

The little boat was crowded; the ladies found what accommodation
they could in what served for a ladies' cabin, and expostulated and
bribed their best; fortunately for them, no doubt, there were no
English on board to bribe against them.

Barty spent the night on deck, supine, with a carpet-bag for a
pillow; we will take the full moon for granted. From Düsseldorf to
Rotterdam there is little to see on either side of a Rhine
steamboat, except the Rhine--especially at night.

[Illustration: "'DOES SHE _KNOW_ YOU'RE VERY FOND OF HER?'"]

Next day, after breakfast, he made the ladies as comfortable as he could
on the after-deck, and read to them from _Maud_, from the _Idylls of the
King_, from the _Mill on the Floss_. Then windmills came into
sight--Dutch windmills; then Rotterdam, almost too soon. They went to
the big hotel on the Boompjes and fed, and then explored Rotterdam, and
found it a most delightful city.

Next day they got on board the steamboat bound for St. Katharine's
wharf; the wind had freshened and they soon separated, and met at
breakfast next morning in the Thames.

Barty declared he smelt Great Britain as distinctly as one can smell
a Scotch haggis, or a Welsh rabbit, or an Irish stew, and the old
familiar smell made him glad. However little you may be English, if
you are English at all you are more English than anything else, _et
plus royaliste que le Roi_!

According to Heine, an Englishman loves liberty as a good husband
loves his wife; that is also how he loves the land of his birth; at
all events, England has a kind of wifely embrace for the home-coming
Briton, especially if he comes home by the Thames.

It is not unexpected, nor madly exciting, perhaps; but it is
singularly warm and sweet if the conjugal relations have not been
strained in the meanwhile. And as the Thames narrows itself, the
closer, the more genial, the more grateful and comforting this
long-anticipated and tenderly intimate uxorious dalliance seems to

Barty felt very happy as he stood leaning over the bulwarks in the
sunshine, between Ida and Leah, and looked at Rotherhithe, and
promised himself he would paint it some day, and even sell the

Then he made himself so pleasant to the custom-house officers that
they all but forgot to examine the Gibson luggage.

Was I delighted to grasp his hand at St. Katharine's wharf, after so
many months? Ah!...

Mr. Gibson was there, funny as ever, and the Gibsons went home with
him to Conduit Street in a hired fly. Alas! poor Mrs. Gibson's
home-coming was the saddest part for her of the delightful little

And Barty and Ida and I went our own way in a four-wheeler to eat
the fatted calf in Brunswick Square, washed down with I will not say
what vintage. There were so many available from all the wine-growing
lands of Europe that I've forgotten which was chosen to celebrate
the wanderers' return!

Let us say Romané-Conti, which is the "cru" that Barty loved best.

       *       *       *       *       *

Next morning Barty left us early, with a portfolio of sketches under
his arm, and his heart full of sanguine expectation, and spent the
day in Fleet Street, or there-abouts, calling on publishers of
illustrated books and periodicals, and came back to us at
dinner-time very fagged, and with a long and piteous but very droll
story of his ignominious non-success: his weary waitings in dull,
dingy, little business back rooms, the patronizing and snubbing he
and his works had met with, the sense that he had everything to
learn--he, who thought he was going to take the publishing world by

Next day it was just the same, and the day after, and the day after
that--every day of the week he spent under our roof.

Then he insisted on leaving us, and took for himself a room in
Newman Street--a studio by day, a bedroom by night, a pleasant
smoking-room at all hours, and very soon a place of rendezvous for
all sorts and conditions of jolly fellows, old friends and new, from
Guardsmen to young stars of the art world, mostly idle apprentices.

Gradually boxing-gloves crept in, and foils and masks, and the
faithful Snowdrop (whose condition three or four attacks of delirium
tremens during Barty's exile had not improved).

And fellows who sang, and told good stories, and imitated popular
actors--all as it used to be in the good old days of St. James's

But Barty was changed all the same. These amusements were no longer
the serious business of life for him. In the midst of all the racket
he would sit at his small easel and work. He declared he couldn't
find inspiration in silence and solitude, and, bereft of Martia, he
could not bear to be alone.

Then he looked up other old friends, and left cards and got
invitations to dinners and drums. One of his first visits was to his
old tailor in Jermyn Street, to whom he still owed money, and who
welcomed him with open arms--almost hugged him--and made him two or
three beautiful suits; I believe he would have dressed Barty for
nothing, as a mere advertisement. At all events, he wouldn't hear of
payment "for many years to come! The finest figure in the whole
Household Brigade!--the idea!"

Soon Barty got a few sketches into obscure illustrated papers, and
thought his fortune was made. The first was a little sketch in the
manner of John Leech, which he took to the _British Lion_, just
started as a rival to _Punch_. The _British Lion_ died before the
sketch appeared, but he got a guinea for it, and bought a beautiful
volume of Tennyson, illustrated by Millais, Holman Hunt, Rossetti,
and others, and made a sketch on the fly-leaf of a lovely female
with black hair and black eyes, and gave it to Leah Gibson. It was
his old female face of ten years ago; yet, strange to say, the very
image of Leah herself (as it had once been that of his mother).

The great happiness of his life just then was to go to the opera
with Mrs. Gibson and Leah and Mr. Babbage (the family friend), who
could get a box whenever he liked, and then to sup with them
afterwards in Conduit Street, over the Emporium of the "Universal
Fur Company," and to imitate Signor Giuglini for the delectation of
Mr. Gibson, whose fondness for Barty soon grew into absolute

And Leah, so reserved and self-contained in general company, would
laugh till the tears ran down her cheeks; and the music of her
laughter, which was deep and low, rang more agreeably to Barty's ear
than even the ravishing strains of Adelina Patti--the last of the
great prime donne of our time, I think--whose voice still stirs me
to the depths, with vague remembrance of fresh girlish innocence
turned into sound.

Long life to her and to her voice! Lovely voices should never fade,
nor pretty faces either!

Sometimes I replaced Mr. Babbage and escorted Mrs. Gibson to the
opera, leaving Leah to Barty; for on fine nights we walked there,
and the ladies took off their bonnets and shawls in the box, which
was generally on the upper tier, and we looked down on Scatcherd and
my mother and sister in the stalls. Then back to Conduit Street to
supper. It was easy with half an eye to see the way things were
going. I can't say I liked it. No man would, I suppose. But I
reconciled myself to the inevitable, and bore up like a stoic.

L'amitié est l'amour sans ailes! A happy intimate friendship, a
wingless love that has lasted more than thirty years without a
break, is no bad substitute for tumultuous passions that have missed
their mark! I have been as close a friend to Barty's wife as to
Barty himself, and all the happiness I have ever known has come from
them and theirs.

Walking home, poor Mrs. Gibson would confide to me her woes and
anxieties, and wail over the past glories of Tavistock Square and
all the nice people who lived there, and in Russell Square and
Bedford Street and Gower Street, many of whom had given up calling
on her now that she lived over a shop. Not all the liveliness of
Bond Street and Regent Street combined (which Conduit Street so
broadly and genially connected with each other) could compensate her
for the lost gentility, the aristocratic dulness and quiet and
repose, "almost equal to that of a West End square."

Then she believed that business was not going on well, since Mr.
Gibson talked of giving up his Cheapside establishment; he said it
was too much for him to look after. But he had lost much of his fun,
and seemed harassed and thin, and muttered in his sleep; and the
poor woman was full of forebodings, some of which were to be
justified by the events that followed.

About this time Leah, who had forebodings too, took it into her head
to attend a class for book-keeping, and in a short time thoroughly
mastered the science in all its details. I'm afraid she was better
at this kind of work than at either drawing or music, both of which
she had been so perseveringly taught. She could read off any music
at sight quite glibly and easily, it is true--the result of hard
plodding--but could never play to give real pleasure, and she gave
it up. And with singing it was the same; her voice was excellent and
had been well trained, but when she heard the untaught Barty she
felt she was no singer, and never would be, and left off trying. Yet
nobody got more pleasure out of the singing of others--especially
Barty's and that of young Mr. Santley, who was her pet and darling,
and whom she far preferred to that sweetest and suavest of tenors,
Giuglini, about whom we all went mad. I agreed with her. Giuglini's
voice was like green chartreuse in a liqueur-glass; Santley's like a
bumper of the very best burgundy that ever was! Oh that high G!
Romané-Conti, again; and in a quart-pot! En veux-tu? en voilà!

And as for her drawing, it was as that of all intelligent young
ladies who have been well taught, but have no original talent
whatever; nor did she derive any special pleasure from the
masterpieces in the National Gallery; the Royal Academy was far more
to her taste; and to mine, I frankly admit; and, I fear, to Barty's
taste also, in those days. Enough of the Guardsman still remained in
him to quite unfit his brain and ear and eye for what was best in
literature and art. He was mildly fond of the "Bacchus and Ariadne,"
and Rembrandt's portrait of himself, and a few others; as he was of
the works of Shakespeare and Milton. But Mantegna and Botticelli and
Signorelli made him sad, and almost morose.

The only great things he genuinely loved and revered were the Elgin
Marbles. He was constantly sketching them. And I am told that they
have had great influence on his work and that he owes much to them.
I have grown to admire them immensely myself in consequence, though
I used to find that part of the British Museum a rather dreary
lounge in the days when Barty used to draw there.

I am the proud possessor of a Velasquez, two Titians, and a
Rembrandt; but, as a rule, I like to encourage the art of my own
time and country and that of modern France.

And I suppose there's hardly a great painter living, or recently
dead, some of whose work is not represented on my walls, either in
London, Paris, or Scotland; or at Marsfield, where so much of my
time is spent; although the house is not mine, it's my real home;
and thither I have always been allowed to send my best pictures, and
my best bric-à-brac, my favorite horses and dogs, and the oldest and
choicest liquors that were ever stored in the cellars of
Vougeot-Conti & Co. Old bachelor friends have their privileges, and
Uncle Bob has known how to make himself at home in Marsfield.

Barty soon got better off, and moved into better lodgings in Berners
Street; a sitting-room and bedroom at No. 12B, which has now

And there he worked all day, without haste and without rest, and at
last in solitude; and found he could work twice as well with no
companion but his pipe and his lay figure, from which he made most
elaborate studies of drapery, in pen and ink; first in the manner of
Sandys and Albert Dürer! later in the manner of Millais, Walker, and

Also he acquired the art of using the living model for his little
illustrations. It had become the fashion; a new school had been
founded with _Once a Week_ and the _Cornhill Magazine_, it seems;
besides those already named, there were Lawless, du Maurier,
Poynter, not to mention Holman Hunt and F. Leighton; and a host of
new draughtsmen, most industrious apprentices, whose talk and
example soon weaned Barty from a mixed and somewhat rowdy crew.

And all became more or less friends of his; a very good thing, for
they were admirable in industry and talent, thorough artists and
very good fellows all round. Need I say they have all risen to fame
and fortune--as becomes poetical justice?

He also kept in touch with his old brother officers, and that was a
good thing too.

But there were others he got to know, rickety, unwholesome geniuses,
whose genius (such as it was) had allied itself to madness; and who
were just as conceited about the madness as about the genius, and
took more pains to cultivate it. It brought them a quicker kudos,
and was so much more visible to the naked eye.

At first Barty was fascinated by the madness, and took the genius on
trust, I suppose. They made much of him, painted him, wrote music
and verses about him, raved about his Greekness, his beauty, his
yellow hair, and his voice and what not, as if he had been a woman.
He even stood that, he admired them so! or rather, this genius of

He introduced me to this little clique, who called themselves a
school, and each other "master": "the neo-priapists," or something
of that sort, and they worshipped the tuberose.

They disliked me at sight, and I them, and we did not dissemble!

Like Barty, I am fond of men's society; but at least I like them to
be unmistakably men of my own sex, manly men, and clean; not little
misshapen troglodytes with foul minds and perverted passions, or
self-advertising little mountebanks with enlarged and diseased
vanities; creatures who would stand in a pillory sooner than not be
stared at or talked about at all.

Whatever their genius might be, it almost made me sick--it almost
made me kick, to see the humorous and masculine Barty prostrate in
admiration before these inspired epicenes, these gifted epileptoids,
these anæmic little self-satisfied nincompoops, whose proper place,
it seemed to me, was either Earlswood, or Colney Hatch, or
Broadmoor. That is, if their madness was genuine, which I doubt. He
and I had many a quarrel about them, till he found them out and cut
them for good and all--a great relief to me; for one got a bad name
by being friends with such nondescripts.

"Dis-moi qui tu hantes, je te dirai ce que tu es!"

Need I say they all died long ago, without leaving the ghost of a
name?--and nobody cared. Poetical justice again! How encouraging it
is to think there are no such people now, and that the breed has
been thoroughly stamped out![1]

[Footnote 1: Editor.]

Barty never succeeded as an illustrator on wood. He got into a way
of doing very slight sketches of pretty people in fancy dress and
coloring them lightly, and sold them at a shop in the Strand, now no
more. Then he made up little stories, which he illustrated himself,
something like the picture-books of the later Caldecott, and I found
him a publisher, and he was soon able to put aside a few pounds and
pay his debts.

Part Eighth

    "And now I see with eyes serene
     The very pulse of the machine;
     A being breathing thoughtful breath,
     A traveller betwixt life and death;
     The reason firm, the temperate will,
     Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
     A perfect woman, nobly planned
     To warn and comfort and command;
     And yet a spirit too and bright
     With something of an angel-light."

When Barty had been six months in England, poor Mr. Gibson's affairs
went suddenly smash. My father saved him from absolute bankruptcy,
and there was lamentation and wailing for a month or so in Conduit
Street; but things were so managed that Mr. Gibson was able to keep
on the "West End firm," and make with it a new start.

He had long been complaining of his cashier, and had to dismiss him
and look out for another; but here his daughter came in and insisted
on being cashier herself--(to her mother's horror).

So she took her place at a railed-in desk at the back of the shop,
and was not only cashier and bookkeeper, but overseer of all things
in general, and was not above seeing any exacting and importunate
customer whom the shopmen couldn't manage.

She actually liked her work, and declared she had found her real
vocation, and quite ceased to regret Tavistock Square.

Her authority in the emporium was even greater than her father's,
who was too fond of being funny. She awed the shopmen into a kind of
affectionate servility, and they were prostrate as before a goddess,
in spite of her never-failing politeness to them.

Customers soon got into a way of asking to see Miss Gibson,
especially when they were accompanied by husbands or brothers or
male friends; and Miss Gibson soon found she sold better than any
shopman, and became one of the notables in the quarter.

All Mr. Gibson's fun came back, and he was as proud of his daughter
as if she'd been proposed to by an earl. But Mrs. Gibson couldn't
help shedding tears over Leah's loss of caste--Leah, on whose beauty
and good breeding she had founded such hopes; it is but fair to add
that she was most anxious to keep the books herself, so that her
daughter might be spared this degradation; for no "gentleman," she
felt sure, would ever propose to her daughter now.

But she was mistaken.

One night Barty and I dined at a little cagmag he used to frequent,
where he fared well--so he said--for a shilling, which included a
glass of stout. It was a disgusting little place, but he liked it,
and therefore so did I.

Then we called for Mrs. Gibson and Leah, and took them to the
Princess's to see Fechter in Ruy Blas, and escorted them home, and
had supper with them, a very good supper--nothing ever interfered
with the luxuriously hospitable instincts of the Gibsons--and a very
merry one. Barty imitated Fechter to the life.

"I 'av ze garrb of a _lacquais_--you 'av ze sôle of _wawn_!"

This he said to Mr. Gibson, who was in fits of delight. Mr. Gibson
had just come home from his club, and the cards had been propitious;
Leah was more reserved than usual, and didn't laugh at Barty, for a
wonder, but gazed at him with love in her eyes.

When we left them, Barty took my arm and walked home with me, down
Oxford Street and up Southampton Row, and talked of Ruy Blas and
Fechter, whom he had often seen in Paris.

Just where a little footway leads from the Row to Queen Square and
Great Ormond Street, he stopped and said:

"Bob, do you remember how we tossed up for Leah Gibson at this very

"I should think I did," said I.

"Well, you had a fair field and no favor, old boy, didn't you?"

"Oh yes, I've long resigned any pretensions, as I wrote you more
than a year ago; you may go in and win--si le coeur t'en dit!"

"Well, then, your congratulations, please. I asked her to marry me
as we crossed Regent Circus, Oxford Street, on the way home; a
hansom came by and scattered and splashed us. Then we came together
again, and just opposite Peter Robinson's, she asked me if my mind
was quite made up--if I was sure I wouldn't ever change. I swore by
the eternal gods, and she said she would be my wife; so there we
are, an engaged couple."

I must ask the reader to believe that I was equal to the occasion,
and said what I ought to have said.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Gibson was happy at last; she was satisfied that Barty was a
"gentleman," in spite of the kink in his birth; and as for his
prospects, money was a thing that never entered Mrs. Gibson's head,
and she loved Barty as a son--was a little bit in love with him
herself, I believe; she was not yet forty, and as pretty as she
could be.

Besides, a week after, who should call upon her over the shop--there
was a private entrance of course--but the Right Honorable Lady
Caroline Grey and her niece, Miss Daphne Rohan, granddaughter of the
late and niece of the present Marquis of Whitby!

And Mrs. Gibson felt as much at home with them in five minutes as if
she'd known them all her life.

Leah was summoned from below, and kissed and congratulated by the
two aristocratic relatives of Barty's, and relieved of her shyness
in a very short time indeed.


As a matter of fact, Lady Caroline, who knew her nephew well, and
thoroughly understood his position, was really well pleased; she had
never forgotten her impression of Leah when she met her in the park with
Ida and me a year back, and we all walked by the Serpentine together--a
certain kind of beauty seems to break down all barriers of rank; and she
knew Leah's character both from Barty and me, and from her own native
shrewdness of observation. She had been delighted to hear from Barty of
Leah's resolute participation in her father's troubles, and in his
attempt--so successful through her--to rehabilitate his business. To
her old-fashioned aristocratic way of looking at things, there was
little to choose between a respectable West End shopkeeper and a medical
practitioner or dentist or solicitor or architect--or even an artist,
like Barty himself. Once outside the Church, the Army and Navy, or a
Government office, what on earth did it matter _who_ or _what_ one was,
or wasn't? The only thing she couldn't stand was that horrid form of
bourgeois gentility, the pretension to seem something better than you
really are. Mrs. Gibson was so naïvely honest in her little laments over
her lost grandeur that she could hardly be called vulgar about it.

Mr. Gibson didn't appear; he was overawed, and distrusted himself. I
doubt if Lady Caroline would have liked anything in the shape of
jocose familiarity; and I fear her naturalness and simplicity and
cordiality of manner, and the extreme plainness of her attire, might
have put him at his ease almost a trifle too much.

Whether her ladyship would have been so sympathetic about this
engagement if Barty had been a legitimate Rohan--say a son of her
own--is perhaps to be doubted; but anyhow she had quite made up her
mind that Leah was a quite exceptional person, both in mind and
manners. She has often said as much to me, and has always had as
high a regard for Barty's wife as for any woman she knows, and has
still--the Rohans are a long-lived family. She has often told me she
never knew a better, sincerer, nobler, or more sensible woman than
Barty's wife.

Besides which, as I have been told, the ancient Yorkshire house of
Rohan has always been singularly free from aristocratic hauteur;
perhaps their religion may have accounted for this, and also their

This memorable visit, it must be remembered, happened nearly forty
years ago, when social demarcations in England were far more rigidly
defined than at present; then, the wife of a costermonger with a
donkey did not visit the wife of a costermonger who had to wheel his
barrow himself.

We are more sensible in these days, as all who like Mr. Chevalier's
admirable coster-songs are aware. Old Europe itself has become less
tolerant of distinctions of rank; even Austria is becoming so. It is
only in southeastern Bulgaria--and even of this I am not absolutely
sure--that the navvy who happens to be of noble birth refuses to
work in the same gang with the navvy who isn't; and that's what I
call real "esprit de corps," without which no aristocracy can ever
hope to hold its own in these degenerate days.

Noblesse oblige!

Why, I've got a Lord Arthur in my New York agency, and two Hon'bles
in Barge Yard, and another at Cape Town; and devilish good men of
business they are, besides being good fellows all round. They hope
to become partners some day; and, by Jove! they shall. Now I've said
it, I'll stick to it.

The fact is, I'm rather fond of noble lords: why shouldn't I be? I
might have been one myself any day these last ten years; I might
now, if I chose; but there! Charles Lamb knew a man who wanted to be
a tailor once, but hadn't got the spirit. I find I haven't got the
spirit to be a noble lord. Even Barty might have been a lord--he, a
mere man of letters!--but he refused every honor and distinction
that was ever offered to him, either here or abroad--even the
Prussian order of Merit!

Alfred Tennyson was a lord, so what is there to make such a fuss
about. Give me lords who can't help themselves, because they were
born so, and the stupider the better; and the older--for the older
they are the grander their manners and the manners of their

Take, for instance, that splendid old dow, Penelope, Duchess of
Rumtifoozleland--I always give nicknames to my grand acquaintances;
not that she's particularly old herself, but she belongs to an
antiquated order of things that is passing away--for she was a
Fitztartan, a daughter of the ducal house of Comtesbois (pronounced
County Boyce); and she's very handsome still.

Have you ever been presented to her Grace, O reader?

If so, you must have been struck by the grace of her Grace's manner,
as with a ducal gesture and a few courtly words she recognizes the
value of whatever immense achievements yours must have been to have
procured you such an honor as such an introduction, and expresses
her surprise and regret that she has not known you before. The
formula is always the same, on every possible occasion. I ought to
know, for I've had the honor of being presented to her Grace seven
times this year.

Now this lofty forgetting of your poor existence--or mine--is not
aristocratic hauteur or patrician insolence; it is _bêtise pure et
simple_, as they call it in France. She was a daughter of the house
of Comtesbois, and the Fitztartans were not the inventors of
gunpowder, nor was she.

But for a stately, magnificent Grande Dame of the ancient régime, to
meet for the seventh time, and be presented to--for the seventh
time--with all due ceremony in the midst of a distinguished
conservative crowd--say at a ball at Buckingham Palace--give me
Penelope, Dowager Duchess of Rumtifoozleland!

(This seems a somewhat uncalled-for digression. But, anyhow, it
shows that when it pleases me to do so I move in the very best
society--just like Barty Josselin.)

       *       *       *       *       *

So here was Mr. Nobody of Nowhere taking unto himself a wife from
among the daughters of Heth; from the class he had always disliked,
the buyers cheap and the sellers dear--whose sole aim in life is the
making of money, and who are proud when they succeed and ashamed
when they fail--and getting actually fond of his future father and
mother in law, as I was!

When I laughed to him about old Gibson--John Gilpin, as we used to
call him--being a tradesman, he said:

"Yes; but what an _unsuccessful_ tradesman, my dear fellow!" as if
that in itself atoned or made amends for everything.

"Besides, he's Leah's father! And as for Mrs. Gilpin, she's a
_dear_, although she's always on pleasure bent; at all events, she's
not of a frugal mind; and she's so pretty and dresses so well--and
what a foot!--and she's got such easy manners, too; she reminds me
of dear Lady Archibald! that's a mother-in-law I shall get on
with.... I wish she didn't make such a fuss about living over the
shop; I call that being above one's business in every way."

"Je suis au-dessus de mes affaires," as old Bonzig proudly said when
he took a garret over the Mont de Piété, in the Rue des Averses.

       *       *       *       *       *

Barty's courtship didn't last long--only five or six months--during
which he made lots of money by sketching little full-length
portraits of people in outline and filling up with tints in
water-color. He thus immortalized my father and mother, and Ida
Scatcherd and her husband, and the old Scatcherds, and lots of other
people. It was not high art, I suppose; he was not a high artist;
but it paid well, and made him more tolerant of trade than ever.

He took the upper part of a house in Southampton Row, and furnished
it almost entirely with wedding-gifts; among other things, a
beautiful semi-grand piano by Érard--the gift of my father.
Everything was charming there and in the best taste.

Leah was better at furnishing a house than at drawing and
music-making; it was an occupation she revelled in.

It is not perhaps for me to say that their cellar might hold its own
with that of any beginners in their rank of life!

Well, and so they were married at Marylebone Church, and I was
Barty's best man (he was to have been mine, and for that very
bride). Nobody else was there but the family, and Ida, whose husband
was abroad; the sun shone, though it was not yet May--and then we
breakfasted; and John Gilpin made a very funny speech, though with
tears in his voice; and as for poor Maman-belle-mère, as Barty
called her, she was a very Niobe.

They went for a fortnight to Boulogne. I wished them joy from the
bottom of my heart, and flung a charming little white satin slipper
of Mrs. Gibson's; it alighted on the carriage--_our_ carriage,
by-the-way; we had just started one, and now lived at Lancaster

It was a sharp pang--almost unbearable, but, also, almost the last.
The last was when she came back and I saw how radiant she looked.
And as for Barty, he was like

                     "the herald Mercury,
     New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill!"

and he had shaved off his beard and mustache to please his wife.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "From George du Maurier, Esqre., A.R.W.S., Hampstead Heath,
       to the Right Honble. Sir Robert Maurice, Bart., M.P.:

    "My Dear Maurice,--In answer to your kind letter, I shall be proud
    and happy to illustrate your biography of Barty Josselin; but as for
    editing it, _vous plaisantez, mon ami; un amateur comme moi!_ who'll
    edit the editor? _Quis custodiet?_...

    "You're mistaken about Malines. I only got back there a week or two
    before he left it. I remember often seeing him there, arm in arm
    with his aunt, Lady Caroline Grey, and being told that he was a
    _monsieur anglais, qui avait mal aux yeux_ (like me); but in
    Düsseldorf, during the following winter, I knew him very well

    "We, and the others you tell me you mention, had a capital time in
    Düsseldorf. I remember the beautiful Miss Royce they were all so mad
    about, and also Miss Gibson, whom I admired much the most of the
    two, although she wasn't quite so tall--you know my craze for lovely

    "Josselin and I came to London at about the same time, and there
    again I saw much of him, and was immensely attracted by him, of
    course--as we all were, in the very pleasant little artistic clique
    you tell me you describe; but somehow I was never very intimate with
    him--none of us were, except, perhaps, Charles Keene.

    "He went a great deal into smart society, and a little of the
    guardsman still clung to him, and this was an unpardonable crime in
    those Bohemian days.

    "He was once seen walking between two well-known earls, in the
    Burlington Arcade, arm in arm!

    "Z---- (to whom a noble lord was as a red rag to a bull) all but cut
    him for this, and we none of us approved of his swell friends,
    Guardsmen and others. How we've all changed, especially Z----, who
    hasn't missed a levée for twenty years, nor his wife a drawing-room!

    "Josselin and I acted in a little French musical farce together at
    Cornelys's; he had a charming voice and sang beautifully, as you

    "Then he married, and a year after I did the same; and though we
    lived near each other for a little while, we didn't meet very often,
    beyond dining together once or twice at each other's houses. They
    lived very much in the world.

    "It will be very difficult to draw his wife. I really think Mrs.
    Josselin was the most beautiful woman I ever saw; but she used to be
    very reserved in those early days, and I never felt quite at my ease
    with her. I'm sure she was sweetness and kindness itself; she was
    certainly charming at her own dinner-table, where she was less shy.

    "Millais's portrait of her is very good, and so is Watts's; but the
    best idea of her is to be got from Josselin's little outlines in
    'The Discreet Princess,' and these are out of print. If you have
    any, please lend them to me, and I will faithfully return them. I
    have more than once tried to draw her in _Punch_, from memory, but
    never with success.

    "I used to call her '_La belle dame sans merci._'

    "I've often, however, drawn Josselin, as you must remember, and
    people have recognized him at once. Thanks for all his old sketches
    of school, etc., which will be very useful.

    "I wish I had known the Josselins better. But when one lives in
    Hampstead one has to forego many delightful friendships; and then he
    grew to be such a tremendous swell! Good heavens!--_Sardonyx_, etc.
    I never could muster courage even to write and congratulate him.

    "It never occurred to any of us, either in Düsseldorf or London, to
    think him what is called _clever_; he never said anything very
    witty or profound. But he was always funny in a good-natured, jovial
    manner, and made me laugh more than any one else.

    "As for satire, good heavens! that seemed not in him. He was always
    well dressed, always in high spirits and a good temper, and very
    demonstrative and caressing; putting his arm round one, and slapping
    one on the back or lifting one up in the air; a kind of jolty,
    noisy, boisterous boon-companion--rather uproarious, in fact, and
    with no disdain for a good bottle of wine or a good bottle of beer.
    His artistic tastes were very catholic, for he was prostrate in
    admiration before Millais, Burne-Jones, Fred Walker, and Charles
    Keene, with the latter of whom he used to sing old English duets.
    Oddly enough, Charles Keene had for Josselin's little amateur
    pencillings the most enthusiastic admiration--probably because they
    were the very antipodes of his own splendid work. I believe he
    managed to get some little initial letters of Josselin's into
    _Punch_ and _Once a Week_; but they weren't signed, and made no
    mark, and I've forgotten them.

    "Josselin didn't really get his foot in the stirrup till a year or
    two after his marriage.

    [Illustration: "BETWEEN TWO WELL-KNOWN EARLS"]

    "And that was by his illustrations to his own _Sardonyx_, which are
    almost worthy of the letter-press, I think; though still somewhat
    lacking in freedom and looseness, and especially in the sense of
    tone. The feeling for beauty and character in them (especially that
    of women and children) is so utterly beyond anything else of the
    kind that has ever been attempted, that technical considerations
    no longer count. I think you will find all of us, in or outside the
    Academy, agreed upon this point.

    "I saw very little of him after he bought Marsfield; but I sometimes
    meet his sons and daughters, _de par le monde_.

    "And what a pleasure that is to an artist of my particular bent you
    can readily understand. I would go a good way to see or talk to any
    daughter of Josselin's; and to hear Mrs. Trevor sing, what miles!
    I'm told the grandchildren are splendid--chips of the old block too.

    "And now, my dear Maurice, I will do my best; you may count upon
    that, for old-times' sake, and for Josselin's, and for that of '_La
    belle dame sans merci_,' whom I used to admire so enthusiastically.
    It grieves me deeply to think of them both gone--and all so sudden!

    "Sincerely yours,

                                                 "George du Maurier.

    "P. S.--Very many thanks for the Château Yquem and the Steinberger
    Cabinet; _je tâcherai de ne pas en abuser trop!_

    "I send you a little sketch of Graham-Reece (Lord Ironsides), taken
    by me on a little bridge in Düsselthal, near Düsseldorf. He stood
    for me there in 1860. It was thought very like at the time."

       *       *       *       *       *

When the Josselins came back from their honeymoon and were settled
in Southampton Row many people of all kinds called on the newly
married pair; invitations came pouring in, and they went very much
into the world. They were considered the handsomest couple in London
that year, and became quite the fashion, and were asked everywhere,
and made much of, and raved about, and had a glorious time till the
following season, when somebody else became the fashion, and they
had grown tired of being lionized themselves, and discovered they
were people of no social importance whatever, as Leah had long
perceived; and it did them good.

Barty was in his element. The admiration his wife excited filled him
with delight; it was a kind of reflected glory, that pleased him
more than any glory he could possibly achieve for himself.

I doubt if Leah was quite so happy. The grand people, the famous
people, the clever, worldly people she met made her very shy at
first, as may be easily imagined.

She was rather embarrassed by the attentions many smart men paid her
as to a very pretty woman, and not always pleased or edified. Her
deep sense of humor was often tickled by this new position in which
she found herself, and which she put down entirely to the fact that
she was Barty's wife.

She never thought much of her own beauty, which had never been made
much of at home, where beauty of a very different order was admired,
and where she was thought too tall, too pale, too slim, and
especially too quiet and sedate.

Dimpled little rosy plumpness for Mr. and Mrs. John Gilpin, and the
never-ending lively chatter, and the ever-ready laugh that results
from an entire lack of the real sense of humor and a laudable desire
to show one's pretty teeth.

Leah's only vanity was her fondness for being very well dressed; it
had become a second nature, especially her fondness for beautiful
French boots and shoes, an instinct inherited from her mother.

For these, and for pretty furniture and hangings, she had the truly
æsthetic eye, and was in advance of her time by at least a year.

She shone most in her own home--by her great faculty of making
others at home there, too, and disinclined to leave it. Her instinct
of hospitality was a true inheritance; she was good at the ordering
of all such things--food, wines, flowers, waiting, every little
detail of the dinner-table, and especially who should be asked to
meet whom, and which particular guests should be chosen to sit by
each other. All things of which Barty had no idea whatever.

I remember their first dinner-party well, and how pleasant it was.
How good the fare, and how simple; and how quick the hired
waiting--and the wines! how--(but I won't talk of that); and how
lively we all were, and how handsome the women. Lady Caroline and
Miss Daphne Rohan, Mr. and Mrs. Graham-Reece, Scatcherd and my
sister; G. du Maurier (then a bachelor) and myself--that was the
party, a very lively one.

After dinner du Maurier and Barty sang capital songs of the quartier
latin, and told stories of the atelier, and even danced a kind of
cancan together--an invention of their own--which they called "_le
dernier des Abencerrages_." We were in fits of laughter, especially
Lady Caroline and Mrs. Graham-Reece. I hope D. M. has not forgotten
that scene, and will do justice to it in this book.

There was still more of the Bohemian than the Guardsman left in
Barty, and his wife's natural tastes were far more in the direction
of Bohemia than of fashionable West End society, as it was called by
some people who were not in it, whatever it consists of; there was
more of her father in her than her mother, and she was not sensitive
to the world's opinion of her social status.


Sometimes Leah and Barty and I would dine together and go to the gallery
of the opera, let us say, or to see Fechter and Miss Kate Terry in the
_Duke's Motto_, or Robson in Shylock, or the _Porter's Knot_, or
whatever was good. Then on the way home to Southampton Row Barty would
buy a big lobster, and Leah would make a salad of it, with innovations
of her own devising which were much appreciated; and then we would
feast, and afterwards Leah would mull some claret in a silver saucepan,
and then we (Barty and I) would drink and smoke and chat of pleasant
things till it was very late indeed and I had to be turned out neck and

And the kindness of the two dear people! Once, when my father and
mother were away in the Isle of Wight and the Scatcherds in Paris, I
felt so seedy I had to leave Barge Yard and go home to Lancaster
Gate. I had felt pretty bad for two or three days. Like all people
who are never ill, I was nervous and thought I was going to die, and
sent for Barty.

In less than twenty minutes Leah drove up in a hansom. Barty was in
Hampton Court for the day, sketching. When she had seen me and how
ill I looked, off she went for the doctor, and brought him back with
her in no time. He saw I was sickening for typhoid, and must go to
bed at once and engage two nurses.

Leah insisted, on taking me straight off to Southampton Row, and the
doctor came with us. There I was soon in bed and the nurses engaged,
and everything done for me as if I'd been Barty himself--all this at
considerable inconvenience to the Josselins.

And I had my typhoid most pleasantly. And I shall never forget the
joys of convalescence, nor what an angel that woman was in a
sick-room--nor what a companion when the worst was over; nor how she
so bore herself through all this forced intimacy that no unruly
regrets or jealousies mingled in my deep affection and admiration
for her, and my passionate gratitude. She was such a person to tell
all one's affairs to, even dry business affairs! such a listener,
and said such sensible things, and sometimes made suggestions that
were invaluable; and of a discretion! a very tomb for momentous

How on earth Barty would have ever managed to get through existence
without her is not to be conceived. Upon my word, I hardly see how I
should have got on myself without these two people to fill my life
with; and in all matters of real importance to me she was the
nearest of the two, for Barty was so light about things, and
couldn't listen long to anything that was at all intricate. Such
matters bored him, and that extraordinary good sense which underlies
all his brilliant criticism of life was apt to fail him in practical
matters; he was too headstrong and impulsive, and by no means

It was quite amusing to watch the way his wife managed him without
ever letting him suspect what she was doing, and how, after his
raging and fuming and storming and stamping--for all his old
fractiousness had come back--she would gradually make him work his
way round--of his own accord, as he thought--to complete concession
all along the line, and take great credit to himself in consequence;
and she would very gravely and slowly give way to a delicate little
wink in my direction, but never a smile at what was all so really
funny. I've no doubt she often got me to do what she thought right
in just the same way--_à mon insu_--and shot her little wink at

       *       *       *       *       *

In due time--namely, late in the evening of December 31, 1862--Barty
hailed a hansom, and went first to summon his good friend Dr.
Knight, in Orchard Street; and then he drove to Brixton, and woke up
and brought back with him a very respectable, middle-aged, and
motherly woman whose name was Jones; and next morning, which was a
very sunny, frosty one, my dear little god-daughter was ushered into
this sinful world, a fact which was chronicled the very next day in
Leah's diary by the simple entry:

    "Jan. 1.--Roberta was born and the coals came in."

When Roberta was first shown to her papa by the nurse, he was in
despair and ran and shut himself up in his studio, and, I believe,
almost wept. He feared he had brought a monster into the world. He
had always, thought that female babies were born with large blue
eyes framed with long lashes, a beautiful complexion of the lily and
the rose, and their shining, flaxen curls already parted in the
middle. And this little bald, wrinkled, dark-red, howling lump of
humanity all but made him ill. But soon the doctor came and knocked
at the door, and said:

"I congratulate you, old fellow, on having produced the most
magnificent little she I ever saw in my life--bar none; she might be
shown for money."

And it turned out that this was not the coarse, unfeeling chaff poor
Barty took it for at first, but the pure and simple truth.

So, my blessed Roberta, pride of your silly old godfather's heart
and apple of his eye, mother of Cupid and Ganymede and Aurora and
the infant Hercules, think of your poor young father weeping in
solitude at the first sight of you, because you were so hideous in
his eyes!

You were not so in mine. Next day--you had improved, no doubt--I
took you in my arms and thought well of you, especially your little
hands that were very prehensile, and your little feet turned in,
with rosy toes and little pink nails like shiny gems; and I was
complimented by Mrs. Jones on the skill with which I dandled you. I
have dandled your sons and daughters, Roberta, and may I live to
dandle theirs!

So then Barty dried his tears, if he really shed them--and he swears
he did--and went and sat by his wife's bedside, and felt
unutterably, as I believe all good men do under similar
circumstances; and lo!--proh!--to his wonderment and delight, in the
middle of it all, the sense of the north came back like a tide, like
an overwhelming avalanche. He declared he all but fainted in the
double ineffability of his bliss.

That night he arranged by his bedside writing materials chosen with
extra care, and before he went to bed he looked out of window at the
stars, and filled his lungs with the clean, frozen, virtuous air of
Bloomsbury, and whispered a most passionate invocation to Martia,
and implored her forgiveness, and went to sleep hugging the thought
of her to his manly breast, now widowed for quite a month to come.

Next morning there was a long letter in bold, vigorous Blaze:

    "My more than ever beloved Barty,--It is for me to implore pardon,
    not for _you_! Your first-born is proof enough to me how right you
    were in letting your own instinct guide you in the choice of a wife.

    "Ah! and well now I know her worth and your good-fortune. I have
    inhabited her for many months, little as she knows it, dear thing!

    "Although she was not the woman I first wanted for you, and had
    watched so many years, she is all that I could wish, in body and
    mind, in beauty and sense and goodness of heart and intelligence, in
    health and strength, and especially in the love with which she has
    so easily, and I trust so lastingly, filled your heart--for that is
    the most precious thing of all to me, as you shall know some day,
    and why; and you will then understand and forgive me for seeming
    such a shameless egotist and caring so desperately for my own ends.

    "Barty, I will never doubt you again, and we will do great things
    together. They will not be quite what I used to hope, but they will
    be worth doing, and all the doing will be yours. All I can do is to
    set your brains in motion--those innocent brains that don't know
    their own strength any more than a herd of bullocks which any little
    butcher boy can drive to the slaughter-house.

    "As soon as Leah is well enough you must tell her all about me--all
    you know, that is. She won't believe you at first, and she'll think
    you've gone mad; but she'll have to believe you in time, and she's
    to be trusted with any secret, and so will you be when once you've
    shared it with her.

    "(By-the-way, I wish you weren't so slipshod and colloquial in your
    English, Barty--Guardsman's English, I suppose--which I have to use,
    as it's yours; your French is much more educated and correct. You
    remember dear M. Durosier at the Pension Brossard? he taught you
    well. You must read, and cultivate a decent English style, for the
    bulk of our joint work must be in English, I think; and I can only
    use your own words to make you immortal, and your own way of using

    "We will be simple, Barty--as simple as Lemuel Gulliver and the good
    Robinson Crusoe--and cultivate a fondness for words of one syllable,
    and if that doesn't do we'll try French.

    "Now listen, or, rather, read:

    "First of all, I will write out for you a list of books, which you
    must study whenever you feel I'm inside you--and this more for me
    than for yourself. Those marked with a cross you must read
    constantly and carefully at home, the others you must read at the
    British Museum.

    "Get a reading ticket at once, and read the books in the order I put
    down. Never forget to leave paper and pencil by your bedside. Leah
    will soon get accustomed to your quiet somnambulism; I will never
    trouble your rest for more than an hour or so each night, but you
    can make up for it by staying in bed an hour or two longer. You will
    have to work during the day from the pencil notes in Blaze you will
    have written during the night, and in the evening, or at any time
    you are conscious of my presence, read what you have written during
    the day, and leave it by your bedside when you go to bed, that I may
    make you correct and alter and suggest--during your sleep.

    "Only write on one side of a page, leaving a margin and plenty of
    space between the lines, and let it be in copybooks, so that the
    page on the left-hand side be left for additions and corrections
    from my Blaze notes, and so forth; you'll soon get into the way of

    "Then when each copybook is complete--I will let you know--get Leah
    to copy it out; she writes a very good, legible business hand. All
    will arrange itself....

    "And now, get the books and begin reading them. I shall not be ready
    to write, nor will you, for more than a month.

    "Keep this from everybody but Leah; don't even mention it to Maurice
    until I give you leave--not but what's he's to be thoroughly
    trusted. You are fortunate in your wife and your friend--I hope the
    day will come when you will find you have been fortunate in your


Here follows a list of books, but it has been more or less carefully
erased; and though some of the names are still to be made out, I
conclude that Barty did not wish them to be made public.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before Roberta was born, Leah had reserved herself an hour every
morning and every afternoon for what she called the cultivation of
her mind--the careful reading of good standard books, French and
English, that she might qualify herself in time, as she said, for
the intellectual society in which she hoped to mix some day; she
built castles in the air, being somewhat of a hero-worshipper in
secret, and dreamt of meeting her heroes in the flesh, now that she
was Barty's wife.

But when she became a mother there was not only Roberta who required
much attention, but Barty himself made great calls upon her time

To his friends' astonishment he had taken it into his head to write
a book. Good heavens! Barty writing a book! What on earth could the
dear boy have to write about?

He wrote much of the book at night in bed, and corrected and put it
into shape during the daytime; and finally Leah had to copy it all
out neatly in her best handwriting, and this copying out of Barty's
books became to her an all but daily task for many years--a happy
labor of love, and one she would depute to no one else; no hired
hand should interfere with these precious productions of her
husband's genius. So that most of the standard works, English and
French, that she grew to thoroughly master were of her husband's
writing--not a bad education, I venture to think!

Besides, it was more in her nature and in the circumstances of her
life that she should become a woman of business and a woman of the
world rather than a reader of books--one who grew to thoroughly
understand life as it presented itself to her; and men and women,
and especially children; and the management of a large and much
frequented house; for they soon moved away from Southampton Row.

She quickly arrived at a complete mastery of all such science as
this--and it is a science; such a mastery as I have never seen
surpassed by any other woman, of whatever world. She would have made
a splendid Marchioness of Whitby, this daughter of a low-comedy John
Gilpin; she would have beaten the Whitby record!

She developed into a woman of the world in the best sense--full of
sympathy, full of observation and quick understanding of others'
needs and thoughts and feelings; absolutely sincere, of a constant
and even temper, and a cheerfulness that never failed--the result of
her splendid health; without caprice, without a spark of vanity,
without selfishness of any kind--generous, open-handed, charitable
to a fault; always taking the large and generous view of everything
and everybody; a little impulsive perhaps, but not often having to
regret her impulses; of unwearied devotion to her husband, and
capable of any heroism or self-sacrifice for his sake; of that I
feel sure.

No one is perfect, of course. Unfortunately, she was apt to be
somewhat jealous at first of his singularly catholic and very
frankly expressed admiration of every opposite type of female
beauty; but she soon grew to see that there was safety in numbers,
and she was made to feel in time that her own type was the arch-type
of all in his eyes, and herself the arch-representative of that type
in his heart.

She was also jealous in her friendships, and was not happy unless
constantly assured of her friends' warm love--Ida's, mine, even that
of her own father and mother. Good heavens! had ever a woman less
cause for doubt or complaint on that score!

Then, like all extremely conscientious people who always know their
own mind and do their very best, she did not like to be found fault
with; she secretly found such fault with herself that she thought
that was fault-finding enough. Also, she was somewhat rigid in
sticking to the ways she thought were right, and in the selection of
these ways she was not always quite infallible. _On a les défauts de
ses qualités_; and a little obstinacy is often the fault of a very
noble quality indeed!

Though somewhat shy and standoffish during the first year or two of
her married life, she soon became "_joliment dégourdie_," as Barty
called it; and I can scarcely conceive any position in which she
would have been awkward or embarrassed for a moment, so ready was
she always with just the right thing to say--or to withhold, if
silence were better than speech; and her fit and proper place in the
world as a great man's wife--and a good and beautiful woman--was
always conceded to her with due honor, even by the most impertinent
among the highly placed of her own sex, without any necessity for
self-assertion on her part whatever--without assumption of any kind.

It was a strange and peculiar personal ascendency she managed to
exert with so little effort, an ascendency partly physical, no
doubt; and the practice of it had begun in the West End emporium of
the "Universal Fur Company, Limited."

[Illustration: "SARDONYX"]

How admirably she filled the high and arduous position of wife to such a
man as Barty Josselin is well known to the world at large. It was no
sinecure! but she gloried in it; and to her thorough apprehension and
management of their joint lives and all that came of them, as well as to
her beauty and sense and genial warmth, was due her great popularity for
many years in an immense and ever-widening circle, where the memory of
her is still preserved and cherished as one of the most remarkable women
of her time.

With all this power of passionate self-surrender to her husband in
all things, little and big, she was not of the type that cannot see
the faults of the beloved one, and Barty was very often frankly
pulled up for his shortcomings, and by no means had it all his own
way when his own way wasn't good for him. She was a person to reckon
with, and incapable of the slightest flattery, even to Barty, who
was so fond of it from her, and in spite of her unbounded admiration
for him.

Such was your mother, my dear Roberta, in the bloom of her early
twenties and ever after; till her death, in fact--on the day
following his!

       *       *       *       *       *

Somewhere about the spring of 1863 she said to me:

"Bob, Barty has written a book. Either I'm an idiot, or blinded by
conjugal conceit, or else Barty's book--which I've copied out myself
in my very best handwriting--is one of the most beautiful and
important books ever written. Come and dine with me to-night;
Barty's dining in the City with the Fishmongers--you shall have what
you like best: pickled pork and pease-pudding, a dressed crab and a
Welsh rabbit to follow, and draught stout--and after dinner I will
read you the beginning of _Sardonyx_--that's what he's called
it--and I should like to have your opinion."

I dined with her as she wished. We were alone, and she told me how
he wrote every night in bed, in a kind of ecstasy--between two and
four, in Blaze--and then elaborated his work during the day, and
made sketches for it.

And after dinner she read me the first part of _Sardonyx_; it took
three hours.

Then Barty came home, having dined well, and in very high spirits.

"Well, old fellow! how do you like _Sardonyx_?"

I was so moved and excited I could say nothing--I couldn't even
smoke. I was allowed to take the precious manuscript away with me,
and finished it during the night.

Next morning I wrote to him out of the fulness of my heart.

I read it aloud to my father and mother, and then lent it to
Scatcherd, who read it to Ida. In twenty-four hours our gay and
genial Barty--our Robin Goodfellow and Merry Andrew, our funny
man--had become for us a demi-god; for all but my father, who looked
upon him as a splendid but irretrievably lost soul, and mourned over
him as over a son of his own.

And in two months _Sardonyx_ was before the reading world, and the
middle-aged reader will remember the wild enthusiasm and the storm
it raised.

All that is ancient history, and I will do no more than allude to
the unparalleled bitterness of the attacks made by the Church on a
book which is now quoted again and again from every pulpit in
England--in the world--and has been translated into almost every
language under the sun.

Thus he leaped into fame and fortune at a bound, and at first they
delighted him. He would take little Roberta on to the top of his
head and dance "La Paladine" on his hearth-rug, singing:

    "Rataplan, Rataplan,
     I'm a celebrated man--"

in imitation of Sergeant Bouncer in _Cox and Box_.

But in less than a year celebrity had quite palled, and all his
money bored him--as mine does me. He had a very small appetite for
either the praise or the pudding which were served out to him in
such excess all through his life. It was only his fondness for the
work itself that kept his nose so constantly to the grindstone.

Within six months of the _Sardonyx_ Barty wrote _La quatrième
Dimension_ in French, which was published by Dollfus-Moïs frères, in
Paris, with if possible a greater success; for the clerical
opposition was even more virulent. The English translation, which is
admirable, is by Scatcherd.

Then came _Motes in a Moonbeam, Interstellar Harmonics_, and _Berthe
aux grands Pieds_ within eighteen months, so that before he was
quite thirty, in the space of two years, Barty had produced five
works--three in English and two in French--which, though merely
novels and novelettes, have had as wide and far-reaching an
influence on modern thought as the _Origin of Species_, that
appeared about the same time, and which are such, for simplicity of
expression, exposition, and idea, that an intelligent ploughboy can
get all the good and all the pleasure from them almost as easily as
any philosopher or sage.

Such was Barty's début as a man of letters. This is not the place to
criticise his literary work, nor am I the proper person to do so;
enough has been written already about Barty Josselin during his
lifetime to fill a large library--in nearly every language there is.
I tremble to think of what has yet to follow!

[Illustration: "'RATAPLAN, RATAPLAN'"]

_Sardonyx_ came of age nearly twelve years ago--what a coming of age
that was the reader will remember well. I shall not forget its
celebration at Marsfield; it happened to coincide with the birth of
Barty's first grandchild, at that very house.

I will now go back to Barty's private life, which is the sole object
of this humble attempt at book-making on my part.

During the next ten years Barty's literary activity was immense.
Beautiful books followed each other in rapid succession--and so did
beautiful little Bartys, and Leah's hands were full.

And as each book, English or French, was more beautiful than the last;
so was each little Barty, male or female. All over Kensington and
Campden Hill--for they took Gretna Lodge, next door to Cornelys, the
sculptor's--the splendor of these little Bartys, their size, their
beauty, their health and high spirits, became almost a joke, and their
mother became almost a comic character in consequence--like the old
lady who lived in a shoe.

Money poured in with a profusion few writers of good books have ever
known before, and every penny not wanted for immediate household
expenses was pounced upon by Scatcherd or by me to be invested in
the manner we thought best: nous avons eu la main heureuse!

The Josselins kept open house, and money was not to be despised,
little as Barty ever thought of money.

Then every autumn the entire smalah migrated to the coast of
Normandy, or Picardy, or Brittany, or to the Highlands of Inverness,
and with them the Scatcherds and the chronicler of these happy
times--not to mention cats, dogs, and squirrels, and guinea-pigs,
and white mice, and birds of all kinds, from which the children
would not be parted, and the real care of which, both at home and
abroad, ultimately devolved on poor Mrs. Josselin--who was not so
fond of animals as all that--so that her life was full to
overflowing of household cares.

Another duty had devolved upon her also: that of answering the
passionate letters that her husband received by every post from all
parts of the world--especially America--and which he could never be
induced to answer himself. Every morning regularly he would begin
his day's work by writing "Yours truly--B. Josselin" on quite a
score of square bits of paper, to be sent through the post to fair
English and American autograph collectors who forwarded stamped
envelopes, and sometimes photographs of themselves, that he might
study the features of those who loved him at a respectful distance,
and who so frankly told their love; all of which bored Barty to
extinction, and was a source of endless amusement to his wife.

But even _she_ was annoyed when a large unstamped or insufficiently
stamped parcel arrived by post from America, enclosing a photograph
of her husband to which his signature was desired, and containing no
stamps to frank it on its return journey!

And the photographers he had to sit to! and the interviewers, male
and female, to whom he had to deny himself! Life was too short!

How often has a sturdy laborer or artisan come up to him, as he and
I walked together, with:

"I should very much like to shake you by the hand, Mr. Josselin, if
I might make so bold, sir!"

And such an appeal as this would please him far more than the most
fervently written outpourings of the female hearts he had touched.

They, of course, received endless invitations to stay at
country-houses all over the United Kingdom, where they might have
been lionized to their hearts' content, if such had been their wish;
but these they never accepted. They never spent a single night away
from their own house till most of their children were grown up--or
ever wanted to; and every year they got less and less into the way
of dining out, or spending the evening from home--and I don't
wonder; no gayer or jollier home ever was than that they made for
themselves, and each other, and their intimate friends; not even at
Cornelys's, next door, was better music to be heard; for Barty was
friends with all the music-makers, English and foreign, who cater
for us in and out of the season; even _they_ read his books, and
understood them; and they sang and played better for Barty--and for
Cornelys, next door--than even for the music-loving multitude who
filled their pockets with British gold.

And the difference between Barty's house and that of Cornelys was
that at the former the gatherings were smaller and more intimate--as
became the smaller house--and one was happier there in consequence.

Barty gave himself up entirely to his writing, and left everything
else to his wife, or to me, or to Scatcherd. She was really a mother
to him, as well as a passionately loving and devoted helpmeet.

To make up for this, whenever she was ill, which didn't often
happen--except, of course, when she had a baby--he forgot all his
writing in his anxiety about her; and in his care of her, and his
solicitude for her ease and comfort, he became quite a motherly old
woman, a better nurse than Mrs. Jones or Mrs. Gibson--as practical
and sensible and full of authority as Dr. Knight himself.

And when it was all over, all his amiable carelessness came back,
and with it his genius, his school-boy high spirits, his tomfooling,
his romps with his children, and his utter irresponsibility, and
absolute disdain for all the ordinary business of life; and the
happy, genial temper that never seemed to know a moment's depression
or nourish an unkind thought.

Poor Barty! what would he have done without us all, and what should
we have done without Barty? As Scatcherd said of him, "He's having
his portion in this life."

But it was not really so.

Then, in 1870, he bought that charming house, Mansfield, by the
Thames, which he rechristened Marsfield; and which he--with the help
of the Scatcherds and myself, for it became our hobby--made into one
of the most delightful abodes in England. It was the real home for
all of us; I really think it is one of the loveliest spots on earth.
It was a bargain, but it cost a lot of money; altogether, never was
money better spent--even as a mere investment. When I think of what
it is worth now! Je suis homme d'affaires!

What a house-warming that was on the very day that France and
Germany went to war; we little guessed what was to come for the
country we all loved so dearly, or we should not have been so glad.

I am conscious that all this is rather dull reading. Alas! Merry
England is a devilish dull place compared to foreign parts--and
success, respectability, and domestic bliss are the dullest things
to write--or read--about that I know--and with middle age to follow

It was during that first summer at Marsfield that Barty told me the
extraordinary story of Martia, and I really thought he had gone mad.
For I knew him to be the most truthful person alive.

Even now I hardly know what to think, nor did Leah--nor did Barty
himself up to the day of his death.

He showed me all her letters, _which I may deem it advisable to
publish some day_: not only the Blaze suggestions for his books, and
all her corrections; things to occupy him for life--all, of course,
in his own handwriting; but many letters about herself, also written
in sleep and by his own hand; and the style is Barty's--not the
style in which he wrote his books, and which is not to be matched;
but that in which he wrote his Blaze letters to me.

If her story is true--and I never read a piece of documentary
evidence more convincing--these letters constitute the most
astonishing revelation ever yet vouchsafed to this earth.

But her story cannot be true!

That Barty's version of his relations with "The Martian" is
absolutely sincere it is impossible to doubt. He was quite
unconscious of the genesis of every book he ever wrote. His first
hint of every one of them was the elaborately worked out suggestion
he found by his bedside in the morning--written by himself in his
sleep during the preceding night, with his eyes wide open, while
more often than not his wife anxiously watched him at his
unconscious work, careful not to wake or disturb him in any way.

Roughly epitomized, Martia's story was this:

For an immense time she had gone through countless incarnations,
from the lowest form to the highest, in the cold and dreary planet
we call Mars, the outermost of the four inhabited worlds of our
system, where the sun seems no bigger than an orange, and which but
for its moist, thin, rich atmosphere and peculiar magnetic
conditions that differ from ours would be too cold above ground for
human or animal or vegetable life. As it is, it is only inhabited
now in the neighborhood of its equator, and even there during its
long winter it is colder and more desolate than Cape Horn or
Spitzbergen--except that the shallow, fresh-water sea does not
freeze except for a few months at either pole.

All these incarnations were forgotten by her but the last; nothing
remained of them all but a vague consciousness that they had once
been, until their culmination in what would be in Mars the
equivalent of a woman on our earth.

Man in Mars is, it appears, a very different being from what he is
here. He is amphibious, and descends from no monkey, but from a
small animal that seems to be something between our seal and our

According to Martia, his beauty is to that of the seal as that of
the Theseus or Antinous to that of an orangoutang. His five senses
are extraordinarily acute, even the sense of touch in his webbed
fingers and toes; and in addition to these he possesses a sixth,
that comes from his keen and unintermittent sense of the magnetic
current, which is far stronger in Mars than on the earth, and far
more complicated, and more thoroughly understood.

When any object is too delicate and minute to be examined by the
sense of touch and sight, the Martian shuts his eyes and puts it
against the pit of his stomach, and knows all about it, even its

In the absolute dark, or with his eyes shut, and when he stops his
ears, he is more intensely conscious of what immediately surrounds
him than at any other time, except that all color-perception ceases;
conscious not only of material objects, but of what is passing in
his fellow-Martian's mind--and this for an area of many hundreds of
cubic yards.

In the course of its evolutions this extraordinary faculty--which
exists on earth in a rudimentary state, but only among some birds
and fish and insects and in the lower forms of animal life--has
developed the Martian mind in a direction very different from ours,
since no inner life apart from the rest, no privacy, no concealment
is possible except at a distance involving absolute isolation; not
even thought is free; yet in some incomprehensible way there is, as
a matter of fact, a really greater freedom of thought than is
conceivable among ourselves: absolute liberty in absolute obedience
to law, a paradox beyond our comprehension.

Their habits are as simple as those we attribute to the
cave-dwellers during the prehistoric periods of the earth's
existence. But their moral sense is so far in advance of ours that
we haven't even a terminology by which to express it.

In comparison, the highest and best of us are monsters of iniquity
and egoism, cruelty and corruption; and our planet (a very heaven
for warmth and brilliancy and beauty, in spite of earthquakes and
cyclones and tornadoes) is a very hell through the creatures that
people it--a shambles, a place of torture, a grotesque and impure

These exemplary Martians wear no clothes but the exquisite fur with
which nature has endowed them, and which constitutes a part of their
immense beauty, according to Martia.

They feed exclusively on edible moss and roots and submarine
seaweed, which they know how to grow and prepare and preserve.
Except for heavy-winged bat-like birds, and big fish, which they
have domesticated and use for their own purposes in an incredible
manner (incarnating a portion of themselves and their consciousness
at will in their bodies), they have cleared Mars of all useless and
harmful and mutually destructive forms of animal life. A sorry
fauna, the Martian--even at its best--and a flora beneath contempt,
compared to ours.

They are great engineers and excavators, great irrigators, great
workers in delicate metal, stone, marble, and precious gems (there
is no wood to speak of); great sculptors and decorators of the
beautiful caves, so fancifully and so intricately connected, in
which they live, and which have taken thousands of years to design
and excavate and ventilate and adorn, and which they warm and light
up at will in a beautiful manner by means of the tremendous magnetic

This richly parti-colored light is part of their mental and moral
life in a way it is not in us to apprehend, and has its exact
equivalent in sound--and vice versa.

They have no language of words, and do not need it, since they can
only be isolated in thought from each other by a distance greater
than that which any vocal sound can traverse; but their organs of
voice and hearing are far more complex and perfect than ours, and
their atmosphere infinitely more conductive of phonal vibrations.

It seems that everything which can be apprehended by the eye or hand
is capable of absolute sonorous translation: light, color, texture,
shape in its three dimensions, weight, and density. The phonal
expression and comprehension of all these are acquired by the
Martian baby almost as soon as it knows how to swim or dive, or move
upright and erect on dry land or beneath it; and the mechanical
translation of such expression by means of wind and wire and
sounding texture and curved surface of extraordinary elaboration is
the principal business of the Martian life--an art by which all the
combined past experience and future aspirations of the race receive
the fullest utterance. Here again personal magnetism plays an
enormous part.

And it is by means of this long and patiently evolved and highly
trained faculty that the race is still developing towards perfection
with constant strain and effort--although the planet is far advanced
in its decadence and within measurable distance of its unfitness for
life of any kind.

All is so evenly and harmoniously balanced, whether above ground or
beneath, that existence is full of joy in spite of the tremendous
strain of life, in spite also of a dreariness of outlook, on barren
nature, which is not to be matched by the most inhospitable regions
of the earth; and death is looked upon as the crowning joy of all,
although life is prolonged by all the means in their power.

For when the life of the body ceases and the body itself is burned
and its ashes scattered to the winds and waves, the infinitesimal,
imponderable, and indestructible something _we_ call the _soul_ is
known to lose itself in a sunbeam and make for the sun, with all its
memories about it, that it may then receive further development,
fitting it for other systems altogether beyond conception; and the
longer it has lived in Mars the better for its eternal life in the

But it often, on its journey sunwards, gets entangled in other
beams, and finds its way to some intermediate planet--Mercury,
Venus, or the Earth; and putting on flesh and blood and bone once
more, and losing for a space all its knowledge of its own past, it
has to undergo another mortal incarnation--a new personal
experience, beginning with its new birth; a dream and a forgetting,
till it awakens again after the pangs of dissolution, and finds
itself a step further on the way to freedom.

Martia, it seems, came to our earth in a shower of shooting-stars a
hundred years ago. She had not lived her full measure of years in
Mars; she had elected to be suppressed, through some unfitness,
physical or mental or moral, which rendered it inexpedient that she
should become a mother of Martians, for they are very particular
about that sort of thing in Mars: we shall have to be so here some
day, or else we shall degenerate and become extinct; or even worse!

Many Martian souls come to our planet in this way, it seems, and
hasten to incarnate themselves in as promising unborn though just
begotten men and women as they find, that they may the sooner be
free to hie them sunwards with all their collected memories.

According to Martia, most of the best and finest of our race have
souls that have lived forgotten lives in Mars. But Martia was in no
hurry; she was full of intelligent curiosity, and for ten years she
went up and down the earth, revelling in the open air, lodging
herself in the brains and bodies of birds, beasts, and fishes,
insects, and animals of all kinds--like a hermit crab in a shell
that belongs to another--but without the slightest inconvenience to
the legitimate owners, who were always quite unconscious of her
presence, although she made what use she could of what wits they

Thus she had a heavenly time on this sunlit earth of ours--now a
worm, now a porpoise, now a sea-gull or a dragon-fly, now some
fleet-footed, keen-eyed quadruped that did not live by slaying, for
she had a horror of bloodshed.

She could only go where these creatures chose to take her, since she
had no power to control their actions in the slightest degree; but
she saw, heard, smelled and touched and tasted with their organs of
sense, and was as conscious of their animal life as they were
themselves. Her description of this phase of her earthly career is
full of extraordinary interest, and sometimes extremely
funny--though quite unconsciously so, no doubt. For instance, she
tells how happy she once was when she inhabited a small brown
Pomeranian dog called "Schnapfel," in Cologne, and belonging to a
Jewish family who dealt in old clothes near the Cathedral; and how
she loved them and looked up to them--how she revelled in fried fish
and the smell of it--and in all the stinks in every street of the
famous city--all except one, that arose from Herr Johann Maria
Farina's renowned emporium in the Julichs Platz, which so offended
the canine nostrils that she had to give up inhabiting that small
Pomeranian dog forever, etc.

Then she took to man, and inhabited man and woman, and especially
child, in all parts of the globe for many years; and, finally, for
the last fifty or sixty years or so, she settled herself exclusively
among the best and healthiest English she could find.

She took a great fancy to the Rohans, who are singularly well
endowed in health of mind and body, and physical beauty, and
happiness of temper. She became especially fond of the ill-fated but
amiable Lord Runswick--Barty's father. Then through him she knew
Antoinette, and loved her so well that she determined to incarnate
herself at last as their child; but she had become very cautious and
worldly during her wandering life on earth, and felt that she would
not be quite happy either as a man or a woman in Western Europe
unless she were reborn in holy wedlock--a concession she made to our
British prejudices in favor of respectability; she describes herself
as the only Martian Philistine and snob.

Evil communications corrupt good manners, and poor Martia, to her
infinite sorrow and self-reproach, was conscious of a sad lowering
of her moral tone after this long frequentation of the best earthly
human beings--even the best English.

She grew to admire worldly success, rank, social distinction, the
perishable beauty of outward form, the lust of the flesh and the
pride of the eye--the pomps and vanities of this wicked world--and
to basely long for these in her own person!

Then when Barty was born she loved to inhabit his singularly well
constituted little body better than any other, and to identify
herself with his happy child-life, and enjoy his singularly perfect
senses, and sleep his beautiful sleep, and revel in the dreams he so
completely forgot when he woke--reminiscent dreams, that she was
actually able to weave out of the unconscious brain that was his:
absolutely using his dormant organs of memory for purposes of her
own, to remember and relive her own past pleasures and pains, so
sensitively and highly organized was he; and to her immense surprise
she found she could make him feel her presence even when awake by
means of the magnetic sense that pervaded her strongly as it
pervades all Martian souls, till they reincarnate themselves among
us and forget.

And thus he was conscious of the north whenever she enjoyed the
hospitality of his young body.

She stuck to him for many years, till he offended her taste by his
looseness of life as a Guardsman (for she was extremely
straitlaced); and she inhabited him no more for some time, though
she often watched him through the eyes of others, and always loved
him and lamented sorely over his faults and follies.

Then one memorable night, in the energy of her despair at his
resolve to slip that splendid body of his, she was able to influence
him in his sleep, and saved his life; and all her love came back

She had never been able to impose a fraction of her will on any
being, animal or human, that she had ever inhabited on earth until
that memorable night in Malines, where she made him write at her

Then she conceived an immense desire that he should marry the
splendid Julia, whom she had often inhabited also, that she might
one day be a child of his by such a mother, and go through her
earthly incarnation in the happiest conceivable circumstances; but
herein she was balked by Barty's instinctive preference for Leah,
and again gave him up in a huff.

But she soon took to inhabiting Leah a great deal, and found her
just as much to her taste for her own future earthly mother as the
divine Julia herself, and made up her mind she would make Barty
great and famous by a clever management of his very extraordinary
brains, of which she had discovered the hidden capacity, and
influence the earth for its good--for she had grown to love the
beautiful earth, in spite of its iniquities--and finally be a child
of Barty and Leah, every new child of whom seemed an improvement on
the last, as though practice made perfect.

Such is, roughly, the story of Martia.

There is no doubt--both Barty and Leah agreed with me in this--that
it is an easy story to invent, though it is curiously convincing to
read in the original shape, with all its minute details and their
verisimilitude; but even then there is nothing in it that the author
of _Sardonyx_ could not have easily imagined and made more
convincing still.

He declared that all through life on awaking from his night's sleep
he always felt conscious of having had extraordinary dreams--even as
a child--but that he forgot them in the very act of waking, in spite
of strenuous efforts to recall them. But now and again on sinking
into sleep the vague memory of those forgotten dreams would come
back, and they were all of a strange life under new conditions--just
such a life as Martia had described--where arabesques of artificial
light and interwoven curves of subtle sound had a significance
undreamt of by mortal eyes or ears, and served as conductors to a
heavenly bliss unknown to earth--revelations denied to us here, or
we should be very different beings from what we most unhappily are.

He thought it quite possible that his brain in sleep had at last
become so active through the exhausting and depleting medical régime
that he went through in Malines that it actually was able to dictate
its will to his body, and that everything might have happened to him
as it did then and afterwards without any supernatural or
ultranatural agency whatever--without a Martia!

He might, in short, have led a kind of dual life, and Martia might
be a simple fancy or invention of his brain in an abnormal state of
activity during slumber; and both Leah and I inclined to this belief
(but for a strange thing which happened later, and which I will tell
in due time). Indeed, it all seems so silly and far-fetched, so "out
of the question," that one feels almost ashamed at bringing this
Martia into a serious biography of a great man--un conte à dormir
debout! But you must wait for the end.

Anyhow, the singular fact remains that in some way inexplicable to
himself Barty has influenced the world in a direction which it never
entered his thoughts even to conceive, so far as he remembered.

Think of all he has done.

He has robbed Death of nearly all its terrors; even for the young it
is no longer the grisly phantom it once was for ourselves, but
rather of an aspect mellow and benign; for to the most sceptical he
(and only he) has restored that absolute conviction of an
indestructible germ of Immortality within us, born of remembrance
made perfect and complete after dissolution: he alone has built the
golden bridge in the middle of which science and faith can shake
hands over at least one common possibility--nay, one common
certainty for those who have read him aright.

There is no longer despair in bereavement--all bereavement is but a
half parting; there is no real parting except for those who survive,
and the longest earthly life is but a span. Whatever the future may
be, the past will be ours forever, and that means our punishment and
our reward and reunion with those we loved. It is a happy phrase,
that which closes the career of _Sardonyx_. It has become as
universal as the Lord's Prayer!

To think that so simple and obvious a solution should have lain
hidden all these æons, to turn up at last as though by chance in a
little illustrated story-book! What a nugget!

Où avions-nous donc la tête et les yeux?

Physical pain and the origin of evil seem the only questions with
which he has not been able to grapple. And yet if those difficulties
are ever dealt with and mastered and overcome for us it can only be
by some follower of Barty's methods.

It is true, no doubt, that through him suicide has become the normal
way out of our troubles when these are beyond remedy. I will not
express any opinion as to the ethical significance of this admitted
result of his teaching, which many of us still find it so hard to
reconcile with their conscience.

Then, by a dexterous manipulation of our sympathies that amounts to
absolute conjuring, he has given the death-blow to all cruelty that
serves for our amusement, and killed the pride and pomp and
circumstance of glorious sport, and made them ridiculous with his
lusty laugh; even the bull-fights in Spain are coming to an end, and
all through a Spanish translation of _Life-blood_. All the
cruelties of the world are bound to follow in time, and this not so
much because they are cruel as because they are ridiculous and mean
and ugly, and would make us laugh if they didn't make us cry.

And to whom but Barty Josselin do we owe it that our race is on an
average already from four to six inches taller than it was thirty
years ago, men and women alike; that strength and beauty are rapidly
becoming the rule among us, and weakness and ugliness the exception?

He has been hard on these; he has been cruel to be kind, and they
have received notice to quit, and been generously compensated in
advance, I think! Who in these days would dare to enter the holy
state of wedlock unless they were pronounced physically, morally,
and mentally fit--to procreate their kind--not only by their own
conscience, but by the common consent of all who know them? And that
beauty, health, and strength are a part of that fitness, and old age
a bar to it, who would dare deny?

I'm no Adonis myself. I've got a long upper lip and an Irish kink in
my nose, inherited perhaps from some maternally ancestral Blake of
Derrydown, who may have been a proper blackguard! And that kink
should be now, no doubt, the lawful property of some ruffianly
cattle-houghing moonlighter, whose nose--which should have been
mine--is probably as straight as Barty's. For in Ireland are to be
found the handsomest and ugliest people in all Great Britain, and in
Great Britain the handsomest and ugliest people in the whole world.

Anyhow, I have known my place. I have not perpetuated that kink, and
with it, possibly, the base and cowardly instincts of which it was
meant to be the outward and visible sign--though it isn't in my
case--that my fellow-men might give me a wide berth.

Leah's girlish instinct was a right one when she said me nay that
afternoon by the Chelsea pier--for how could she see inside me, poor
child? How could Beauty guess the Beast was a Prince in disguise? It
was no fairy-tale!

Things have got mixed up; but they're all coming right, and all
through Barty Josselin.

And what vulgar pride and narrownesses and meannesses and vanities
and uglinesses of life, in mass and class and individual, are now
impossible!--and all through Barty Josselin and his quaint ironies
of pen and pencil, forever trembling between tears and laughter,
with never a cynical spark or a hint of bitterness.

How he has held his own against the world! how he has scourged its
wickedness and folly, this gigantic optimist, who never wrote a
single line in his own defence!

How quickly their laugh recoiled on those early laughers! and how
Barty alone laughed well because he laughed the last, and taught the
laughers to laugh on his side! People thought he was always
laughing. It was not so.

Part Ninth

    "Cara deûm soboles, magnum Jovis incrementum."


The immense fame and success that Barty Josselin achieved were to
him a source of constant disquiet. He could take neither pride nor
pleasure in what seemed to him not his; he thought himself a fraud.

Yet only the mere skeleton of his work was built up for him by his
demon; all the beauty of form and color, all the grace of movement
and outer garb, are absolutely his own.

It has been noticed how few eminent men of letters were intimate
with the Josselins, though the best among them--except, of course,
Thomas Carlyle--have been so enthusiastic and outspoken in their
love and admiration of his work.

He was never at his ease in their society, and felt himself a kind
of charlatan.

The fact is, the general talk of such men was often apt to be over
his head, as it would have been over mine, and often made him
painfully diffident and shy. He needn't have been; he little knew
the kind of feeling he inspired among the highest and best.

Why, one day at the Marathonæum, the first and foremost of them
all, the champion smiter of the Philistines, the apostle of culture
and sweetness and light, told me that, putting Barty's books out of
the question, he always got more profit and pleasure out of Barty's
society than that of any man he knew.

"It does me good to be in the same room with him; the freshness of
the man, his voice, his aspect, his splendid vitality and
mother-wit, his boyish spirit, and the towering genius behind it
all. I only wish to goodness I was an intimate friend of his as you
are; it would be a liberal education to me!"

But Barty's reverence and admiration for true scholarship and great
literary culture in others amounted to absolute awe, and filled him
with self-distrust.

There is no doubt that until he was universally accepted, the
crudeness of his literary method was duly criticised with great
severity by those professional literary critics who sometimes carp
with such a big mouth at their betters, and occasionally kill the
Keatses of this world!

In writing, as in everything else, he was an amateur, and more or
less remained one for life; but the greatest of his time accepted
him at once, and laughed and wept, and loved him for his obvious
faults as well as for his qualities. Tous les genres sont bons,
hormis le genre ennuyeux! And Barty was so delightfully the reverse
of a bore!

Dear me! what matters it how faultlessly we paint or write or sing
if no one will care to look or read or listen? He is all fault that
hath no fault at all, and we poor outsiders all but yawn in his face
for his pains.

They should only paint and write and sing for each other, these
impeccables, who so despise success and revile the successful. How
do they live, I wonder? Do they take in each other's washing, or
review each other's books?

It edifies one to see what a lot of trouble these deriders of other
people's popularity will often take to advertise themselves, and how
they yearn for that popular acclaim they so scornfully denounce.

Barty was not a well-read man by any means; his scholarship was that
of an idle French boy who leaves school at seventeen, after having
been plucked for a cheap French degree, and goes straightway into
her Majesty's Household Brigade.

At the beginning of his literary career it would cut him to the
quick to find himself alluded to as that inspired Anglo-Gallic
buffoon, the ex-Guardsman, whose real vocation, when he wasn't
twaddling about the music of the spheres, or writing moral French
books, was to be Mr. Toole's understudy.

He was even impressed by the smartness of those second-rate
decadents, French and English, who so gloried in their own
degeneracy--as though one were to glory in scrofula or rickets;
those unpleasant little anthropoids with the sexless little muse and
the dirty little Eros, who would ride their angry, jealous little
tilt at him in the vain hope of provoking some retort which would
have lifted them up to glory! Where are they now? He has improved
them all away! Who ever hears of decadents nowadays?

Then there were the grubs of Grub Street, who sometimes manage to
squirt a drop from their slime-bags on to the swiftly passing boot
that scorns to squash them. He had no notion of what manner of
creatures they really were, these gentles! He did not meet them at
any club he belonged to--it was not likely. Clubs have a way of
blackballing grubs--especially grubs that are out of the common
grubby; nor did he sit down to dinner with them at any dinner-table,
or come across them at any house he was by way of frequenting; but
he imagined they were quite important persons because they did not
sign their articles! and he quite mistook their place in the economy
of creation. C'était un naïf, le beau Josselin!

Big fleas have little fleas, and they've got to put up with them!
There is no "poudre insecticide" for literary vermin--and more's the
pity! (Good heavens! what would the generous and delicate-minded
Barty say, if he were alive, at my delivering myself in this
unworthy fashion about these long-forgotten assailants of his, and
at my age too--he who never penned a line in retaliation! He would
say I was the most unseemly grub of them all, and he would be quite
right; so I am just now, and ought to know better--but it amuses

Then there were the melodious bardlets who imitate those who imitate
those who imitate the forgotten minor poets of the olden time and
log-roll each other in quaint old English. They did not log-roll
Barty, whom they thought coarse and vulgar, and wrote to that effect
in very plain English that was not old, but quite up to date.

"How splendidly they write verse!" he would say, and actually once
or twice he would pick up one or two of their cheap little archaic
mannerisms and proudly use them as his own, and be quite angry to
find that Leah had carefully expunged them in her copy.

"A _fair_ and _gracious_ garden indeed!" says Leah. "I _won't_ have
you use such ridiculous words, Barty--you mean a _pretty_ garden,
and you shall say so; or even a _beautiful_ garden if you like!--and
no more '_manifolds_,' and '_there-anents_,' and '_in veriest
sooths_,' and '_waters wan_,' and '_wan waters_,' and all that. I
won't stand it; they don't suit your style at all!"

She and Scatcherd and I between us soon laughed him out of these
innocent little literary vagaries, and he remained content with the
homely words he had inherited from his barbarian ancestors in
England (they speak good English, our barbarians), and the simple
phrasing he had learnt from M. Durosier's classe de littérature at
the Institution Brossard.

One language helps another; even the smattering of a dead language is
better than no extra language at all, and that's why, at such cost of
time and labor and paternal cash, we learn to smatter Greek and Latin, I
suppose. "Arma virumque cano"--"Tityre tu patulæ?"--"Mæcenas
atavis"--"[Greek: Mênin aeide]"--and there you are! It sticks in the
memory, and it's as simple as "How d'ye do?"

Anyhow, it is pretty generally admitted, both here and in France,
that for grace and ease and elegance and absolute clearness
combined, Barty Josselin's literary style has never been surpassed
and very seldom equalled; and whatever his other faults, when he was
at his ease he had the same graceful gift in his talk, both French
and English.

It might be worth while my translating here the record of an
impression made by Barty and his surroundings on a very accomplished
Frenchman, M. Paroly, of the _Débats_, who paid him a visit in the
summer of 1869, at Campden Hill.

I may mention that Barty hated to be interviewed and questioned
about his literary work--he declared he was afraid of being found

But if once the interviewer managed to evade the lynx-eyed Leah, who
had a horror of him, and get inside the studio, and make good his
footing there, and were a decently pleasant fellow to boot, Barty
would soon get over his aversion--utterly forget he was being
interviewed--and talk as to an old friend; especially if the
reviewer were a Frenchman or an American.

The interviewer is an insidious and wily person, and often presents
himself to the soft-hearted celebrity in such humble and pathetic
guise that one really hasn't the courage to snub him. He has come
such a long way for such a little thing! it is such a lowly function
he plies at the foot of that tall tree whose top you reached at a
single bound! And he is supposed to be a "gentleman," and has no
other means of keeping body and soul together! Then he is so
prostrate in admiration before your Immensity....

So you give way, and out comes the little note-book, and out comes
the little cross-examination.

As a rule, you are none the worse and the world is none the better;
we know all about you already--all, at least, that we want to know;
we have heard it all before, over and over again. But a poor
fellow-creature has earned his crust, and goes home the happier for
having talked to you about yourself and been treated like a man and
a brother.

But sometimes the reviewer is very terrible indeed in his jaunty
vulgarization of your distinguished personality, and you have to
wince and redden, and rue the day you let him inside your house, and
live down those light familiar paragraphs in which he describes you
and the way you dress and how you look and what jolly things you
say; and on what free and easy terms _he_ is with you, of all people
in the world!

But the most terrible of all is the pleasant gentleman from America,
who has yearned to know you for _so_ many years, and comes perhaps
with a letter of introduction--or even without!--not to interview
you or write about you (good heavens! he hates and scorns that
modern pest, the interviewer), but to sit at your feet and worship
at your shrine, and tell you of all the good you have done him and
his, all the happiness you have given them all--"the debt of a

And you let yourself go before him, and so do your family, and so do
your old friends; is _he_ not also a friend, though not an old one?
You part with him almost in sorrow, he's so nice! And in three weeks
some kind person sends you from the other side such a printed
account of you and yours--so abominably true, so abominably
false--that the remembrance of it makes you wake up in the dead of
night, and most unjustly loathe an entire continent for breeding and
harboring such a shameless type of press reptile!

I feel hard-hearted towards the interviewer, I own. I wish him, and
those who employ him, a better trade; and a better taste to whoever
reads what he writes. But Barty could be hard-hearted to nobody, and
always regretted having granted the interview when he saw the
published outcome of it.

Fortunately, M. Paroly was decently discreet.

"I've got a Frenchman coming this afternoon--a tremendous swell,"
said Barty, at lunch.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Leah._ "Who is he?"

_Barty._ "M. Paroly, of the _Débats_."

_Leah._ "What is he when he's at home?"

_Barty._ "A famous journalist; as you'd know if you'd read the
French newspapers sometimes, which you never do."

_Leah._ "Haven't got the time. He's coming to interview you, I
suppose, and make French newspaper copy out of you."

_Barty._ "Why shouldn't he come just for the pleasure of making my

_Leah._ "And mine--I'll be there and talk to him, too!"

_Barty._ "My dear, he probably doesn't speak a word of English; and
your French, you know! You never _would_ learn French properly,
although you've had me to practise on for so many years--not to
mention Bob and Ida."

_Leah._ "How unkind of you, Barty! When have I had time to trouble
about French? Besides, you always laugh at my French accent and
mimic it--and _that's_ not encouraging!"

_Barty._ "My dear, I _adore_ your French accent; it's so unaffected!
I only wish I heard it a little oftener."

_Leah._ "You shall hear it this afternoon. At what o'clock is he
coming, your Monsieur Paroly?"

_Barty._ "At four-thirty."

_Leah._ "Oh, Barty, _don't_ give yourself away--don't talk to him about
your writings, or about yourself, or about your family. He'll vulgarize
you all over France. Surely you've not forgotten that nice 'gentleman'
from America who came to see you, and who told you that _he_ was no
interviewer, not _he_! but came merely as a friend and admirer--a
distant but constant worshipper for many years! and how you talked to
him like a long-lost brother, in consequence! 'There's nobody in the
world like the best Americans,' you said. You adored them _all_, and
wanted to be an American yourself--till a month after, when he published
every word you said, and more, and what sort of cravat you had on, and
how silent and cold and uncommunicative your good, motherly English wife
was--you, the brilliant and talkative Barty Josselin, who should have
mated with a countrywoman of his own! and how your bosom friend was a
huge, overgrown everyday Briton with a broken nose! _I_ saw what he was
at, from the low cunning in his face as he listened; and felt that every
single unguarded word you dropped was a dollar in his pocket! How we've
all had to live down that dreadfully facetious and grotesque and
familiar article he printed about us all in those twenty American
newspapers that have got the largest circulation in the world! and how
you stamped and raved, Barty, and swore that never another American
'gentleman' should enter your house! What names you called him: 'cad!'
'sweep!' 'low-bred, little Yankee penny-a-liner!' Don't you remember?
Why, he described you as a quite nice-looking man somewhat over the
middle height!"

"Oh yes; damn him, _I_ remember!" said Barty, who was three or four
inches over six feet, and quite openly vain of his good looks.

_Leah._ "Well, then, pray be cautious with this Monsieur Paroly you
think so much of because he's French. Let _him_ talk--interview
_him_--ask him all about his family, if he's got one--his children,
and all that; play a game of billiards with him--talk French
politics--dance 'La Paladine'--make him laugh--make him smoke one of
those strong Trichinopoli cigars Bob gave you for the tops of
omnibuses--make him feel your biceps--teach him how to play cup and
ball--give him a sketch--then bring him in to tea. Madame Cornelys
will be there, and Julia Ironsides, and Ida, who'll talk French by
the yard. Then we'll show him the St. Bernards and Minerva, and I'll
give him an armful of Gloire de Dijon roses, and shake him warmly by
the hand, so that he won't feel ill-natured towards us; and we'll
get him out of the house as quick as possible."

       *       *       *       *       *

Thus prepared, Barty awaited M. Paroly, and this is a free rendering
of what M. Paroly afterwards wrote about him:

    "With a mixture of feelings difficult to analyze and define, I bade
    adieu to the sage and philosopher of Cheyne Row, and had myself
    transported in my hansom to the abode of the other great _sommité
    littéraire_ in London, the light one--M. Josselin, to whom we in
    France also are so deeply in debt.

    "After a longish drive through sordid streets we reached a bright
    historic vicinity and a charming hill, and my invisible Jehu guided
    me at the great trot by verdant country lanes. We turned through
    lodge gates into a narrow drive in a well-kept garden where there
    was a lawn of English greenness, on which were children and nurses
    and many dogs, and young people who played at the lawn-tennis.

    "The door of the house was opened by a charming young woman in black
    with a white apron and cap, like a waitress at the Bouillon Duval,
    who guided me through a bright corridor full of pictures and
    panoplies, and then through a handsome studio to a billiard-room,
    where M. Josselin was playing at _the_ billiard to himself all

    "M. Josselin receives me with jovial cordiality; he is enormously
    tall, enormously handsome, like a drum-major of the Imperial Guard,
    except that his lip and chin are shaved and he has slight whiskers;
    very well dressed, with thick curly hair, and regular features, and
    a singularly sympathetic voice: he is about thirty-five.

    "I have to decline a game of billiards, and refuse a cigar, a very
    formidable cigar, very black and very thick and very long. I don't
    smoke, and am no hand at a cue. Besides, I want to talk about
    _Étoiles Mortes_, about _Les Trépassées de François Villon_, about
    _Déjanire et Dalila_!


    "M. Josselin speaks French as he writes it, in absolute perfection;
    his mother, he tells me, was from Normandy--the daughter of
    fisherfolk in Dieppe; he was at school in Paris, and has lived there
    as an art student.

    "He does not care to talk about _Les Trépassées_ or _Les Étoiles_,
    or any of his immortal works.

    "He asks me if I'm a good swimmer, and can do _la coupe_ properly;
    and leaning over his billiard-table he shows me how it ought to be
    done, and dilates on the merits of that mode of getting through the
    water. He confides to me that he suffers from a terrible
    nostalgia--a consuming desire to do _la coupe_ in the swimming-baths
    of Passy against the current; to take a header _à la hussarde_ with
    his eyes open and explore the bed of the Seine between Grenelle and
    the Île des Cygnes--as he used to do when he was a school-boy--and
    pick up mussels with his teeth.

    "Then he explains to me the peculiar virtues of his stove, which is
    almost entirely an invention of his own, and shows me how he can
    regulate the heat of the room to the fraction of a degree
    centigrade, which he prefers to Fahrenheit--just as he prefers
    metres and centimetres to inches and feet--and ten to twelve!

    "After this he performs some very clever tricks with billiard-balls;
    juggles three of them in each hand simultaneously, and explains to
    me that this is an exceptional achievement, as he only sees out of
    one eye, and that no acrobat living could do the same with one eye

    "I quite believe him, and wonder and admire, and his face beams with
    honest satisfaction--and this is the man who wrote _La quatrième

    "Then he tells me some very funny French school-boy stories; he
    delights in my hearty laughter; they are capital stories, but I had
    heard them all before--when I was at school.

    "'And now, M. Josselin,' I say, 'à propos of that last story you've
    just told me; in the _Trépassées de François Villon_ you have
    omitted "la très-sage Héloïse" altogether.'

    "'Oh, have I? How stupid of me!--Abélard and all that! Ah
    well--there's plenty of time--nous allons arranger tout ça! All that
    sort of thing comes to me in the night, you know, when I'm half
    asleep in bed--a--a--I mean after lunch in the afternoon, when I
    take my siesta.'

    "Then he leads me into his studio and shows me pencil studies from
    the life, things of ineffable beauty of form and expression--things
    that haunt the memory.

    "'Show me a study for Déjanire,' I say.

    "'Oh! I'll draw Déjanire for you,' and he takes a soft pencil and a
    piece of smooth card-board, and in five minutes draws me an outline
    of a naked woman on a centaur's back, a creature of touching beauty
    no other hand in the world could produce--so aristocratically
    delicately English and of to-day--so severely, so nobly and
    classically Greek. C'est la chasteté même--mais ce n'est pas

    "He gives me this sketch, which I rechristen Godiva, and value as I
    value few things I possess.

    "Then he shows me pencil studies of children's heads, from nature,
    and I exclaim:

    "'O Heaven, what a dream of childhood! Childhood is never so
    beautiful as that.'

    "'Oh yes it is, in England, I assure you,' says he. 'I'll show you
    _my_ children presently; and you, have you any children?'

    "'Alas! no,' I reply; 'I am a bachelor.'

    "I remark that from time to time, just as the moon veils itself
    behind a passing cloud, the radiance of his brilliant and jovial
    physiognomy is eclipsed by the expression of a sadness immense,
    mysterious, infinite; this is followed by a look of angelic candor
    and sweetness and gentle heroism, that moves you strangely, even to
    the heart, and makes appeal to all your warmest and deepest
    sympathies--the look of a very masculine Joan of Arc! You don't know
    why, but you feel you would make any sacrifice for a man who looks
    at you like that, follow him to the death--lead a forlorn hope at
    his bidding.

    "He does not exact from me anything so arduous as this, but passing
    round my neck his powerful arm, he says:

    "'Come and drink some tea; I should like to present you to my wife.'

    "And he leads me through another corridor to a charming drawing-room
    that gives on to the green lawn of the garden.

    "There are several people there taking the tea.

    "He presents me first to Madame Josselin. If the husband is
    enormously handsome, the wife is a beauty absolutely divine; she,
    also, is very tall--très élégante; she has soft wavy black hair, and
    eyes and eyebrows d'un noir de jais, and a complexion d'une
    blancheur de lis, with just a point of carmine in the cheeks. She
    does not say much--she speaks French with difficulty; but she
    expresses with her smiling eyes so cordial and sincere a welcome
    that one feels glad to be in the same room with her, one feels it is
    a happy privilege, it does one good--one ceases to feel one may
    possibly be an intruder--one almost feels one is wanted there.

    "I am then presented to three or four other ladies; and it would
    seem that the greatest beauties of London have given each other
    rendezvous in Madame Josselin's salon--this London, where are to be
    found the most beautiful women in the world and the ugliest.

    "First, I salute the Countess of Ironsides--ah, mon Dieu, la Diane
    chasseresse--la Sapho de Pradier! Then Madame Cornelys, the wife of
    the great sculptor, who lives next door--a daughter of the ancient
    gods of Greece! Then a magnificent blonde, an old friend of theirs,
    who speaks French absolutely like a Frenchwoman, and says thee and
    thou to M. Josselin, and introduces me to her brother, un vrai type
    de colosse bon enfant, d'une tenue irréprochable [thank you, M.
    Paroly], who also speaks the French of France, for he was at school
    there--a school-fellow of our host.

    "There are two or three children, girls, more beautiful than
    anything or anybody else in the house--in the world, I think! They
    give me tea and cakes, and bread and butter; most delicious
    tartines, as thin as wafers, and speak French well, and relate to me
    the biographies of their animals, une vraie ménagerie which I
    afterwards have to visit--immense dogs, rabbits, hedgehogs,
    squirrels, white mice, and a gigantic owl, who answers to the name
    of Minerva.

    "I find myself, ma foi, very happy among these wonderful people, and
    preserve an impression of beauty, of bonhomie, of naturalness and
    domestic felicity quite unlike anything I have ever been privileged
    to see--an impression never to be forgotten.

    "But as for _Étoiles Mortes_ and _Les Trépassées de François
    Villon_, I really have to give them up; the beautiful big dogs are
    more important than all the books in the world, even the
    master's--even the master himself!

    "However, I want no explanation to see and understand how M.
    Josselin has written most of his chefs-d'oeuvre from the depths of a
    happy consciousness habituated to all that is most graceful and
    charming and seductive in real life--and a deeply sympathetic,
    poignant, and compassionate sense of the contrast to all this.

    "Happy mortal, happy family, happy country where grow (poussent)
    such people, and where such children flourish! The souvenir of that
    so brief hour spent at Gretna Lodge is one of the most beautiful
    souvenirs of my life--and, above all, the souvenir of the belle
    châtelaine who filled my hansom with beautiful roses culled by her
    own fair hand, which gave me at parting that cordial English
    pressure so much more suggestive of _Au revoir_ than _Adieu_!

    "It is with sincere regret one leaves people who part with one so

                                                  "Alphonse Paroly."

       *       *       *       *       *

Except that good and happy women have no history, I should almost
like to write the history of Barty's wife, and call it the history
of the busiest and most hard-working woman in Great Britain.

Barty left everything to her--to the very signing of cheques. He
would have nothing to do with any business of any kind.

He wouldn't even carve at lunch or dinner. Leah did, unless _I_ was

It is but fair to say he worked as hard as any man I know. When he
was not writing or drawing, he was thinking about drawing or
writing; when they got to Marsfield, he hardly ever stirred outside
the grounds.

There he would garden with gardeners or cut down trees, or do
carpenter's work at his short intervals of rest, or groom a horse.

How often have I seen him suddenly drop a spade or axe or saw or
curry-comb, and go straight off to a thatched gazebo he had built
himself, where writing materials were left, and write down the happy
thought that had occurred; and then, pipe in mouth, back to his
gardening or the rest!

I also had a gazebo close to his, where I read blue-books and wrote
my endless correspondence with the help of a secretary--only too
glad, both of us, to be disturbed by festive and frolicsome young
Bartys of either sex--by their dogs--by their mother!

Leah's province it was to attend to all the machinery by which life
was carried on in this big house, and social intercourse, and the
education of the young, and endless hospitalities.

She would even try to coach her boys in Latin and Euclid during
their preparation times for the school where they spent the day, two
miles off. Such Latin! such geometry! She could never master the
ablative absolute, nor what used to be called at Brossard's _le que
retranché_, nor see the necessity of demonstrating by A + B what was
sufficiently obvious to her without.

"Who helps you in your Latin, my boy?" says the master, with a grin.

"My father," says Geoffrey, too loyal to admit it was his mother who
had coached him wrong.

"Ah, I suppose he helps you with your Euclid also?" says the master,
with a broader grin still.

"Yes, sir," says Geoffrey.

"Your father's French, I suppose?"

"I dare say, sir," says Geoffrey.

"Ah, I thought so!"

All of which was very unfair to Barty, whose Latin, like that of
most boys who have been brought up at a French school, was probably
quite as good as the English school-master's own, except for its
innocence of quantities; and Blanchet and Legendre are easier to
learn than Euclid, and stick longer in the memory; and Barty
remembered well.

Then, besides the many friends who came to the pleasant house to
stay, or else for lunch or tea or dinner, there were pious pilgrims
from all parts of the world, as to a shrine--from Paris, from
Germany, Italy, Norway, and Sweden; from America especially. Leah
had to play the hostess almost every day of her life, and show off
her lion and make him roar and wag his tail and stand on his hind
legs--a lion that was not always in the mood to tumble and be shown
off, unless the pilgrims were pretty and of the female sex.

Barty was a man's man par excellence, and loved to forgather with
men. The only men he couldn't stand were those we have agreed to
call in modern English the Philistines and the prigs--or both
combined, as they can sometimes be; and this objection of his would
have considerably narrowed his circle of male acquaintances but that
the Philistines and the prigs, who so detest each other, were so
dotingly fond of Barty, and ran him to earth in Marsfield.

The Philistines loved him for his world-wide popularity; the prigs
in spite of it! They loved him for himself alone--because they
couldn't help it, I suppose--and lamented over him as over a fallen

He was happiest of all with the good denizens of Bohemia, who have
known want and temptation and come unscathed out of the fire, but
with their affectations and insincerities and conventionalities all
burnt away.

Good old Bohemia--alma mater dolorosa; stern old gray she-wolf with
the dry teats--marâtre au coeur de pierre! It is not a bad school
in which to graduate, if you can do so without loss of principle or
sacrifice of the delicate bloom of honor and self-respect.

Next to these I think he loved the barbarians he belonged to on his
father's side, who, whatever their faults, are seldom prigs or
Philistines; and then he loved the proletarians, who had good,
straightforward manners and no pretension--the laborer, the skilled
artisan, especially the toilers of the sea.

In spite of his love of his own sex, he was of the kind that can go
to the devil for a pretty woman.

He did not do this; he married one instead, fortunately for himself
and for his children and for her, and stuck to her and preferred her
society to any society in the world. Her mere presence seemed to
have an extraordinarily soothing influence on him; it was as though
life were short, and he could never see enough of her in the
allotted time and space; the chronic necessity of her nearness to
him became a habit and a second nature--like his pipe, as he would

Still, he was such a slave to his own æsthetic eye and ever-youthful
heart that the sight of lovely woman pleased him more than the sight
of anything else on earth; he delighted in her proximity, in the
rustle of her garments, in the sound of her voice; and lovely
woman's instinct told her this, so that she was very fond of Barty
in return.

He was especially popular with sweet, pretty young girls, to whom
his genial, happy, paternal manner always endeared him. They felt as
safe with Barty as with any father or uncle, for all his facetious
love-making; he made them laugh, and they loved him for it, and they
forgot his Apolloship, and his Lionhood, and his general Immensity,
which he never remembered himself.

It is to be feared that women who lacked the heavenly gift of good
looks did not interest him quite so much, whatever other gifts they
might possess, unless it were the gift of making lovely music. The
little brown nightingale outshone the brilliant bird of paradise if
she were a true nightingale; if she were very brown indeed, he would
shut his eyes and listen with all his ears, rapt, as in a heavenly
dream. And the closed lids would moisten, especially the lid that
hid the eye that couldn't see--the emotional one!--although he was
the least lachrymose of men, since it was with such a dry eye he
wrote what I could scarcely read for my tears.

But his natural kindliness and geniality made him always try and
please those who tried to please him, beautiful or the reverse,
whether they succeeded or not; and he was just as popular with the
ducks and geese as with the swans and peacocks and nightingales and
birds of paradise. The dull, commonplace dames who prosed and buzzed
and bored, the elderly intellectual virgins who knew nothing of life
but what they had read--or written--in "Tendenz" novels, yet sadly
rebuked him, more in sorrow than in anger, for this passage or that
in his books, about things out of their ken altogether, etc.

His playful amenity disarmed the most aggressive bluestocking, orthodox
or Unitarian, Catholic or Hebrew--radicals, agnostics, vegetarians,
teetotalers, anti-vaccinationists, anti-vivisectionists--even
anti-things that don't concern decent women at all, whether married or

It was only when his privacy was invaded by some patronizing,
loud-voiced nouvelle-riche with a low-bred physiognomy that no
millions on earth could gild or refine, and manners to match; some
foolish, fashionable, would-be worldling, who combined the arch
little coquetries and impertinent affectations of a spoilt beauty
with the ugliness of an Aztec or an Esquimau; some silly, titled old
frump who frankly ignored his tea-making wife and daughters and
talked to _him_ only--and only about her grotesque and ugly
self--and told him of all the famous painters who had wanted to
paint her for the last hundred years--it was only then he grew glum
and reserved and depressed and made an unfavorable impression on the
other sex.

What it must have cost him not to express his disgust more frankly!
for reticence on any matter was almost a torture to him.

Most of us have a mental sanctum to which we retire at times,
locking the door behind us; and there we think of high and beautiful
things, and hold commune with our Maker; or count our money, or
improvise that repartee the gods withheld last night, and shake
hands with ourselves for our wit; or caress the thought of some
darling, secret wickedness or vice; or revel in dreams of some
hidden hate, or some love we mustn't own; and curse those we have to
be civil to whether we like them or not, and nurse our little envies
till we almost get to like them.

There we remember all the stupid and unkind things we've ever said
or thought or done, and all the slights that have ever been put on
us, and secretly plan the revenge that never comes off--because time
has softened our hearts, let us hope, when opportunity serves at

That Barty had no such holy of holies to creep into I feel pretty
sure--unless it was the wifely heart of Leah; whatever came into his
head came straight out of his mouth; he had nothing to conceal, and
thought aloud, for all the world to hear; and it does credit, I
think, to the singular goodness and guilelessness of his nature that
he could afford to be so outspoken through life and yet give so
little offence to others as he did. His indiscretion did very little
harm, and his naïve self-revelation only made him the more lovable
to those who knew him well.

They were poor creatures, the daws who pecked at that manly heart,
so stanch and warm and constant.

As for Leah, it was easy to see that she looked upon her husband as
a fixed star, and was well pleased to tend and minister and revolve,
and shine with no other light than his; it was in reality an
absolute adoration on her part. But she very cleverly managed to
hide it from him; she was not the kind of woman that makes a doormat
of herself for the man she loves. She kept him in very good order

It was her theory that female adoration is not good for masculine
vanity, and that he got quite enough of it outside his own home; and
she would make such fun of him and his female adorers all over the
world that he grew to laugh at them himself, and to value a pat on
the back and a hearty "Well done, Barty!" from his wife more than

    "The blandishments of all the womankind
     In Europe and America combined."

Gentle and kind and polite as she was, however, she could do battle
in defence of her great man, who was so backward at defending
himself; and very effective battle too.

As an instance among many, illustrating her method of warfare: Once
at an important house a very immense personage (who had an eye for a
pretty woman) had asked to be introduced to her and had taken her
down to supper; a very immense personage indeed, whose fame had
penetrated to the uttermost ends of the earth and deservedly made
his name a beloved household word wherever our tongue is spoken, so
that it was in every Englishman's mouth all over the world--as
Barty's is now.

Leah was immensely impressed, and treated his elderly Immensity to a
very full measure of the deference that was his due; and such open
homage is not always good for even the Immensest Immensities--it
sometimes makes them give themselves immense airs. So that this
particular Immensity began mildly but firmly to patronize Leah. This
she didn't mind on her own account, but when he said, quite

"By-the-way, I forget if I _know_ your good husband; _do_ I?"

--she was not pleased, and immediately answered:

"I really can't say; I don't think I ever heard him mention your

This was not absolutely veracious on Leah's part; for to Barty in
those days this particular great man was a god, and he was always
full of him. But it brought the immense one back to his bearings at
once, and he left off patronizing and was almost humble.

Anyhow, it was a lie so white that the recording angel will probably
delete what there is of it with a genial smile, and leave a little
blank in its place.

       *       *       *       *       *

In an old diary of Leah's I find the following entry:

"March 6th, 1874.--Mamma and Ida Scatcherd came to stay. In the
evening our sixth daughter and eighth child was born."

Julia (Mrs. Mainwaring) was this favored person--and is still. Julia
and her predecessors have all lived and flourished up to now.

The Josselins had been exceptionally fortunate in their children;
each new specimen seemed an even finer specimen than the last. The
health of this remarkable family had been exemplary--measles, and
mumps, and whooping-cough their only ailments.

During the month of Leah's confinement Barty's nocturnal literary
activity was unusually great. Night after night he wrote in his
sleep, and accumulated enough raw material to last him a lifetime;
for the older he grew and the more practised his hand the longer it
took him to give his work the shape he wished; he became more
fastidious year by year as he became less of an amateur.

One morning, a day or two before his wife's complete recovery, he
found a long personal letter from Martia by his bedside--a letter
that moved him very deeply, and gave him food for thought during
many weeks and months and years:

       *       *       *       *       *

    "My Beloved Barty,--The time has come at last when I must bid you

    "I have outstayed my proper welcome on earth as a disembodied
    conscience by just a hundred years, and my desire for reincarnation
    has become an imperious passion not to be resisted.

    "It is more than a desire--it is a duty as well, a duty far too long

    "Barty, I am going to be your next child. I can conceive no greater
    earthly felicity than to be a child of yours and Leah's. I should
    have been one long before, but that you and I have had so much to do
    together for this beautiful earth--a great debt to pay: you, for
    being as you are; I, for having known you.

    "Barty, you have no conception what you are to me and always have


    "I am to you but a name, a vague idea, a mysterious inspiration;
    sometimes a questionable guide, I fear. You don't even believe all I
    have told you about myself--you think it all a somnambulistic
    invention of your own; and so does your wife, and so does your

    "O that I could connect myself in your mind with the shape I wore
    when I was last a living thing! No shape on earth, not either yours
    or Leah's or that of any child yet born to you both, is more
    beautiful to the eye that has learned how to see than the fashion of
    that lost face and body of mine.

    "_You_ wore the shape once, and so did your father and mother, for
    you were Martians. Leah was a Martian, and wore it too; there are
    many of them here--they are the best on earth, the very salt
    thereof. I mean to be the best of them all, and one of the happiest.
    Oh, help me to that!

    "Barty, when I am a splendid son of yours or a sweet and lovely
    daughter, all remembrance of what I was before will have been wiped
    out of me until I die. But _you_ will remember, and so will Leah,
    and both will love me with such a love as no earthly parents have
    ever felt for any child of theirs yet.

    "Think of the poor loving soul, lone, wandering, but not lost, that
    will so trustfully look up at you out of those gleeful innocent

    "How that soul has suffered both here and elsewhere you don't know,
    and never will, till the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed;
    and I am going to forget it myself for a few decades--sixty,
    seventy, eighty years perhaps; such happy years, I hope--with you
    for my father and Leah for my mother during some of them at
    least--and sweet grandchildren of yours, I hope, for my sons and
    daughters! Why, life to me now will be almost a holiday.

    "Oh, train me up the way I should go! Bring me up to be healthy and
    chaste and strong and brave--never to know a mean ambition or think
    an ungenerous thought--never to yield to a base or unworthy

    "If I'm a boy--and I want to be a boy very much (although, perhaps,
    a girl would be dearer to your heart)--don't let me be either a
    soldier or a sailor, however much I may wish it as a Josselin or a
    Rohan; don't bring me up to buy or sell like a Gibson, or deal in
    law like a Bletchley.

    "Bring me up to invent, or make something useful, if it's only
    pickles or soap, but not to buy and sell them; bring me up to build
    or heal or paint or write or make music--to help or teach or please.

    "If I'm a girl, bring me up to be as much like Leah as you can, and
    marry me to just such another as yourself, if you can find him.
    Whether I'm a girl or a boy, call me Marty, that my name may rhyme
    with yours.

    "When my conscience re-embodies itself, I want it never to know
    another pang of self-reproach. And when I'm grown up, if you think
    it right to do so, tell me who and what I once was, that I may love
    you both the more; tell me how fondly I loved you when I was a
    bland and fleeting little animalcule, without a body, but making my
    home in yours--so that when you die I may know how irrevocably bound
    up together we must forever be, we three; and rejoice the more in
    your death and Leah's and my own. Teach me over again all I've ever
    taught you, Barty--over and over again!

    "Alas! perhaps you don't believe all this! How can I give you a

    "There are many ways; but a law, of necessity inexorable, forbids
    it. Such little entity as I possess would cease to be; it was all
    but lost when I saved your life--and again when I told you that you
    were the beloved of Julia Royce. It would not do for us Martians to
    meddle with earthly things; the fat would soon be in the fire, I can
    tell you!

    "Try and trust me, Barty, and give me the benefit of any doubt.

    "You have work planned out for many years to come, and are now
    yourself so trained that you can do without me. You know what you
    have still to say to mankind; never write a line about which you are
    not sure.

    "For another night or two you will be my host, and this splendid
    frame of yours my hostelry; on y est très bien. Be hospitable still
    for a little while--make the most of me; hug me tight, squeeze me

    "As soon as Leah is up and about and herself again you will know me
    no more, and no more feel the north.

    "Ah! you will never realize what it is for me to bid you good-bye,
    my Barty, my Barty! All that is in your big heart and powerful brain
    to feel of grief belongs to me, now that you are fast asleep. And
    your genius for sorrow, which you have never really tested yet, is
    as great as any gift you possess.

    "Happy Barty, who have got to forty years without sounding the great
    depths, and all through me! what will you do without your poor
    devoted unknown Martia to keep watch over you and ward--to fight for
    you like a wild-cat, if necessary?

    "Leah must be your wild-cat now. She has it in her to be a tigress
    when you are concerned, or any of her children! Next to you, Leah is
    the darling of my heart; for it's your heart I make use of to love
    her with.

    "I want you to tell the world all about your Martia some day. They
    may disbelieve, as you do; but good fruit will come of it in the
    future. Martians will have a freer hand with you all, and that will
    be a good thing for the earth; they were trained in a good hard
    school--they are the Spartans of our universe.

    "Such things will come to pass, before many years are over, as are
    little dreamt of now, and all through your wanting to swallow that
    dose of cyanide at No. 36 Rue des Ursulines Blanches, and my having
    the gumption to prevent you!

    "It's a good seed that we have sown, you and I. It was not right
    that this beautiful planet should go much longer drifting through
    space without a single hope that is not an illusion, without a
    single hint of what life should really be, without a goal.

    "Why such darkness under so bright a sun! such blindness to what is
    so patent! such a deaf ear to the roaring of that thunderous harmony
    which you call the eternal silence!--you of the earth, earthy, who
    can hear the little trumpet of the mosquito so well that it makes
    you fidget and fret and fume all night, and robs you of your rest.
    Then the sun rises and frightens the mosquitoes away, and you think
    that's what the sun is for and are thankful; but why the deuce a
    mosquito should sting you, you can't make out!--mystery of

    "At the back of your brain is a little speck of perishable matter,
    Barty; it is no bigger than a needle's point, but it is bigger in
    you than in anybody else I know, except in Leah; and in your
    children it is bigger still--almost as big as the point of a pin!

    "If they pair well, and it is in them to do so if they follow their
    inherited instinct, their children and their children's children
    will have that speck still bigger. When that speck becomes as big as
    a millet-seed in your remote posterity, then it will be as big as in
    a Martian, and the earth will be a very different place, and man of
    earth greater and even better than the Martian by all the greatness
    of his ampler, subtler, and more complex brain; his sense of the
    Deity will be as an eagle's sense of the sun at noon in a cloudless
    tropical sky; and he will know how to bear that effulgence without a
    blink, as he stands on his lonely summit, ringed by the azure world.

    "Indeed, there will be no more Martians in Mars by that time; they
    are near the end of their lease; all good Martians will have gone to
    Venus, let us hope; if not, to the Sun itself!

    "Man has many thousands of years before him yet ere his little ball
    of earth gets too cold for him; the little speck in his brain may
    grow to the size of a pea, a cherry, a walnut, an egg, an orange!
    He will have in him the magnetic consciousness of the entire solar
    system, and hold the keys of time and space as long and as far as
    the sun shines for us all--and then there will be the beginning of
    everything. And all through that little episode in the street of
    those White Ursulines! And the seed of Barty and Leah will overflow
    to the uttermost ends of the earth, and finally blossom and bear
    fruit for ever and ever beyond the stars.

    "What a beginning for a new order of things! what a getting
    up-stairs! what an awakening! what an annunciation!

    "Do you remember that knock at the door?

    "'Il est dix heures, savez-vous? Voulez-vous votre café dans votre

    "She little knew, poor little Frau! humble little Finche Torfs,
    lowly Flemish virgin, who loved you as the moth loves the star;
    vilain mangeur de coeurs que vous êtes!

    "Barty, I wish your wife to hear nothing of this till the child who
    once was your Martia shall have seen the light of day with eyes of
    its own; tell her that I have left you at last, but don't tell her
    why or how; tell her some day, years hence, if you think she will
    love me the better for it; not otherwise.

    "When you wake, Barty, I shall still be inside you; say to me in
    your mezza voce all the kind things you can think of--such things as
    you would have said to your mother had she lived till now, and you
    were speeding her on a long and uncertain journey.

    "How you would have loved your mother! She was most beautiful, and
    of the type so dear to you. Her skin was almost as white as Leah's,
    her eyes almost as black, her hair even blacker; like Leah, she was
    tall and slim and lithe and graceful. She might have been Leah's
    mother, too, for the likeness between them. How often you remind me
    of her when you laugh or sing, and when you're funny in French;
    those droll, quick gestures and quaint intonations, that ease and
    freedom and deftness as you move! And then you become English in a
    moment, and your big, burly, fair-haired father has come back with
    his high voice, and his high spirits, and his frank blue eyes, like
    yours, so kind and brave and genial.

    "And _you_, dear, what a baby you were--a very prince among babies;
    ah! if I can only be like that when I begin again!

    "The people in the Tuileries garden used to turn round and stare and
    smile at you when Rosalie with the long blue streamers bore you
    along as proudly as if Louis Philippe were your grandfather and she
    the royal wet-nurse; and later, after that hideous quarrel about
    nothing, and the fatal fight by the 'mare aux biches,' how the good
    fisher people of Le Pollet adored you! 'Un vrai petit St. Jean! il
    nous portera bonheur, bien sûr!'

    "You have been thoroughly well loved all your life, my Barty, but
    most of all by me--never forget that!

    "I have been your father and your mother when they sat and watched
    your baby-sleep; I have been Rosalie when she gave you the breast; I
    have been your French grandfather and grandmother quarrelling as to
    which of the two should nurse you as they sat and sunned themselves
    on their humble doorstep in the Rue des Guignes!

    "I have been your doting wife when you sang to her, your children
    when you made them laugh till they cried. I've been Lady Archibald
    when you danced the Dieppoise after tea, in Dover, with your little
    bare legs; and Aunt Caroline, too, as she nursed you in Malines
    after that silly duel where you behaved so well; and I've been by
    turns Mérovée Brossard, Bonzig, old Laferté, Mlle. Marceline, Finche
    Torfs, poor little Marianina, Julia Royce, Father Louis, the old
    Abbé, Bob Maurice--all the people you've ever charmed, or amused, or
    been kind to--a legion; good heavens! I have been them all! What a
    snowball made up of all these loves I've been rolling after you all
    these years! and now it has all got to melt away in a single night,
    and with it the remembrance of all I've ever been during ages

    "And I've no voice to bid you good-bye, my beloved; no arms to hug
    you with, no eyes to weep--I, a daughter of the most affectionate,
    and clinging, and caressing race of little people in existence! Such
    eyes as I once had, too; such warm, soft, furry arms, and such a
    voice--it would have wanted no words to express all that I feel now;
    that voice--nous savons notre orthographie en musique là bas!

    "How it will please, perhaps, to remember even this farewell some
    day, when we're all together again, with nothing to come between!

    "And now, my beloved, there is no such thing as good-bye; it is a
    word that has no real meaning; but it is so English and pretty and
    sweet and child-like and nonsensical that I could write it over and
    over again--just for fun!

    "So good-bye! good-bye! good-bye! till I wake up once more after a
    long living sleep of many years, I hope; a sleep filled with happy
    dreams of you, dear, delightful people, whom I've got to live with
    and love, and learn to lose once more; and then--no more good-byes!


       *       *       *       *       *

So much for Martia--whoever or whatever it was that went by that
name in Barty's consciousness.

After such close companionship for so many years, the loss of
her--or it--was like the loss of a sixth and most valuable sense,
worse almost than the loss of his sight would have been; and with
this he was constantly threatened, for he most unmercifully taxed
his remaining eye, and the field of his vision had narrowed year by

But this impending calamity did not frighten him as in the old days.
His wife was with him now, and as long as she was by his side he
could have borne anything--blindness, poverty, dishonor--anything in
the world. If he lost her, he would survive her loss just long
enough to put his affairs in order, and no more.

But most distressfully he missed the physical feeling of the
north--even in his sleep. This strange bereavement drew him and Leah
even more closely together, if that were possible; and she was well
content to reign alone in the heart of her fractious, unreasonable
but most affectionate, humorous, and irresistible great man.
Although her rival had been but a name and an idea, a mere
abstraction in which she had never really believed, she did not find
it altogether displeasing to herself that the lively Martia was no
more; she has almost told me as much.

And thus began for them both the happiest and most beautiful period
of their joint lives, in spite of sorrows yet to come. She took such
care of him that he might have been as blind as Belisarius himself,
and he seemed almost to depend upon her as much--so wrapt up was he
in the work of his life, so indifferent to all mundane and practical
affairs. What eyesight was not wanted for his pen and pencil he
reserved to look at her with--at his beloved children, and the
things of beauty in and outside Marsfield: pictures, old china,
skies, hills, trees, and river; and what wits remained he kept to
amuse his family and his friends--there was enough and to spare.

The older he grew the more he teemed and seethed and bubbled and
shone--and set others shining round him--even myself. It is no
wonder Marsfield became such a singularly agreeable abode for all
who dwelt there, even for the men-servants and the maid-servants,
and the birds and the beasts, and the stranger within its gates--and
for me a kind of earthly paradise.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now, gentle reader, I want very badly to talk about myself a
little, if you don't mind--just for half a dozen pages or so, which
you can skip if you like. Whether you do so or not, it will not hurt
you--and it will do me a great deal of good.

I feel uncommonly sad, and very lonely indeed, now that Barty is
gone; and with him my beloved comrade Leah.


The only people left to me that I'm really fond of--except my dear
widowed sister, Ida Scatcherd--are all so young. They're Josselins, of
course--one and all--and they're all that's kind and droll and
charming, and I adore them. But they can't quite realize what this sort
of bereavement means to a man of just my age, who has still got some
years of life before him, probably--and is yet an old man.

The Right Honorable Sir Robert Maurice, Bart., M. P., etc., etc.,
etc. That's me. I take up a whole line of manuscript. I might be a
noble lord if I chose, and take up two!

I'm a liberal conservative, an opportunist, a pessi-optimist, an
in-medio-tutissimist, and attend divine service at the Temple

I'm a Philistine, and not ashamed; so was Molière--so was Cervantes.
So, if you like, was the late Martin Farquhar Tupper--and those who
read him; we're of all sorts in Philistia, the great and the small,
the good and the bad.

I'm in the sixties--sound of wind and limb--only two false
teeth--one at each side, bicuspids, merely for show. I'm rather
bald, but it suits my style; a little fat, perhaps--a pound and a
half over sixteen stone! but I'm an inch and a half over six feet,
and very big-boned. Altogether, diablement bien conservé! I sleep
well, the sleep of the just; I have a good appetite and a good
digestion, and a good conceit of myself still, thank Heaven--though
nothing like what it used to be! One can survive the loss of one's
self-respect; but of one's vanity, never.

What a prosperous and happy life mine has been, to be sure, up to a
few short months ago--hardly ever an ache or a pain!--my only real
griefs, my dear mother's death ten years back, and my father's in
1870. Yes, I have warmed both hands at the fire of life, and even
burnt my fingers now and then, but not severely.

One love disappointment. The sting of it lasted a couple of years,
the compensation more than thirty! I loved her all the better,
perhaps, that I did not marry her. I'm afraid it is not in me to
love a very good wife of my own as much as I really ought!

And I love her children as well as if they'd been mine, and her
grandchildren even better. They are irresistible, these
grandchildren of Barty's and Leah's--mine wouldn't have been a patch
on them; besides, I get all the fun and none of the bother and
anxiety. Evidently it was my true vocation to remain single--and be
a tame cat in a large, warm house, where there are lots of nice

O happy Bob Maurice! O happy sexagenarian!

"O me fortunatum, mea si bona nôrim!" (What would Père Brossard say
at this? he would give me a twisted pinch on the arm--and serve me

I'm very glad I've been successful, though it's not a very high
achievement to make a very large fortune by buying and selling that
which put into a man's mouth is said to steal away his brains!

But it does better things than this. It reconciles and solves and
resolves mental discords, like music. It makes music for people who
have no ear--and there are so many of these in the world that I'm a
millionaire, and Franz Schubert died a pauper. So I prefer to drink
beer--as _he_ did; and I never miss a Monday Pop if I can help it.

_I_ have done better things, too. I have helped to govern my country
and make its laws; but it all came out of wine to begin with--all
from learning how to buy and sell. We're a nation of shopkeepers,
although the French keep better shops than ours, and more of them.

I'm glad I'm successful because of Barty, although success, which
brings the world to our feet, does not always endear us to the
friend of our bosom. If I had been a failure Barty would have stuck
to me like a brick, I feel sure, instead of my sticking to him like
a leech! And the sight of his success might have soured me--that
eternal chorus of praise, that perpetual feast of pudding in which I
should have had no part but to take my share as a mere guest, and
listen and look on and applaud, and wish I'd never been born!

As it is, I listened and looked on and clapped my hands with as much
pride and pleasure as if Barty had been my son--and my share of the
pudding never stuck in my throat!

I should have been always on the watch to take him down a peg when
he was pleased with himself--to hold him cheap and overpraise some
duffer in his hearing--so that I might save my own self-esteem; to
pay him bad little left-handed compliments, him and his, whenever I
was out of humor; and I should have been always out of humor, having
failed in life.

And then I should have gone home wretched--for I have a
conscience--and woke up in the middle of the night and thought of
Barty; and what a kind, genial, jolly, large-minded, and
generous-hearted old chap he was and always had been--and buried my
face in my pillow, and muttered:

"Ach! what a poor, mean, jealous beast I am--un fruit sec! un
malheureux raté!"

With all my success, this life-long exclusive cultivation of Barty's
society, and that of his artistic friends, which has somehow
unfitted me for the society of my brother-merchants of wine--and
most merchants of everything else--has not, I regret to say, quite
fitted me to hold my own among the "leaders of intellectual modern
thought," whose company I would fain seek and keep in preference to
any other.

My very wealth seems to depress and disgust them, as it does me--and
I'm no genius, I admit, and a poor conversationalist.

To amass wealth is an engrossing pursuit--and now that I have
amassed a good deal more than I quite know what to do with, it seems
to me a very ignoble one. It chokes up everything that makes life
worth living; it leaves so little time for the constant and regular
practice of those ingenuous arts which faithfully to have learned is
said to soften the manners, and make one an agreeable person all

It is even more _abrutissant_ than the mere pursuit of sport or

How many a noble lord I know who's almost as beastly rich as myself,
and twice as big a fool by nature, and perhaps not a better fellow
at bottom--yet who can command the society of all there is of the
best in science, literature, and art!

Not but what they will come and dine with me fast enough, these
shining lights of culture and intellect--my food is very good,
although I say it, and I get noble lords to meet them.

But they talk their real talk to each other--not to me--and to the
noble lords who sit by them at my table, and who try to understand
what they say. With me they fall back on politics and bimetallism,
for all the pains I've taken to get up the subjects that interest
them, and keep myself posted in all they've written and done.
Precious little they know about bimetallism or politics!

Is it only on account of their pretty manners that my titled friends
are such favorites with these highly intellectual guests of
mine--and with me? If so, then pretty manners should come before
everything else in the world, and be taught instead of Latin and

But if it's only because they're noble lords, then I'm beginning to
think with Mr. Labouchere that it's high time the Upper House were
abolished, and its denizens wafted into space, since they make such
snobs of us all--including your humble servant, of course, who at
least is not quite so snobbish as to know himself for a damned snob
and pretend he isn't one.

Anyhow, I'm glad my life has been such a success. But would I live
it all over again? Even the best of it? The "forty year"?

Taking one consideration with another, most decidedly not.

I have only met two men of my own age who would live their lives
over again. They both cared more for their meals than for anything
else in the world--and they have always had four of these every day;
sometimes even five! plenty of variety, and never a meal to disagree
with them! affaire d'estomac! They simply want to eat all those
meals once more. They lived to feed, and to refeed would re-live!

My meals have never disagreed with me either--but I have always
found them monotonous; they have always been so simple and so
regular when I've had the ordering of them! Fried soles, chops or
steaks, and that sort of thing, and a pint of lager-beer--no wine
for me, thank you; I sell it--and all this just to serve as a mere
foundation for a smoke--and a chat with Barty, if possible!

Hardly ever an ache or a pain, and I wouldn't live it all over
again! yet I hope to live another twenty years, if only to take
Leah's unborn great-grandchildren to the dentist's, and tip them at
school, and treat them to the pantomime and Madame Tussaud's, as I
did their mothers and grandmothers before them--or their fathers and

This seems rather inconsistent! For would I care, twenty years
hence, to re-live these coming twenty years? Evidently not--it's out
of the question.

So why don't I give up at once? I know how to do it, without pain,
without scandal, without even invalidating my life-insurance, about
which I don't care a rap!

Why don't I? why don't _you_, O middle-aged reader--with all the
infirmities of age before you and all the pleasures of youth behind?
Anyhow, we don't, either you or I--and so there's an end on't.

O Pandora! I have promised myself that I would take a
great-grandchild of Barty's on a flying-machine from Marsfield to
London and back in half an hour--and that great-grandchild can't
well be born for several years--perhaps not for another twenty!

And now, gentle reader, I've had my little say, and I'm a good deal
better, thanks, and I'll try not to talk about myself any more.

Except just to mention that in the summer of 1876 I contested East
Rosherville in the Conservative interest and was successful--and
owed my success to the canvassing of Barty and Leah, who had no
politics of their own whatever, and would have canvassed for me just
as conscientiously if I'd been a Radical, probably more so! For if
Barty had permitted himself any politics at all, he would have been
a red-hot Radical, I fear--and his wife would have followed suit.
And so, perhaps, would I!

Part Tenth

    "Je suis allé de bon matin
       Cueillir la violette,
     Et l'aubépine, et le jasmin,
       Pour célébrer ta fête.
     J'ai lié de ma propre main
     Bouton de rose et romarin
       Pour couronner ta blonde tête.

    "Mais de ta royale beauté
       Sois humble, je te prie.
     Ici tout meurt, la fleur, l'été,
       La jeunesse et la vie:
     Bientôt, bientôt ce jour sera,
     Ma belle, où l'on te portera
       Dans un linceul, pâle et flétrie."

                             --A _Favorite Song of_ Mary Trevor's.

That was a pleasant summer.

First of all we went to Ste. Adresse, a suburb of Hâvre, where there
is very good bathing--with rafts, _périssoires_, _pique-têtes_ to
dive from--all those aquatic delights the French are so clever at
inventing, and which make a "station balnéaire" so much more amusing
than a mere British watering-place.

We made a large party and bathed together every morning; and Barty
and I taught the young ones to dive and do "la coupe" in the true
orthodox form, with that free horizontal sweep of each alternate arm
that gives it such distinction.

It was very good fun to see those rosy boys and girls taking their
"hussardes" neatly without a splash from the little platform at the
top of the pole, and solemnly performing "la coupe" in the wake of
their papa; one on his back. Right out to sea they went, I bringing
up the rear--and the faithful Jean-Baptiste in attendance with his
boat, and Leah inside it--her anxious eyes on the stretch to count
those curly heads again and again. She was a good mathematician, and
the tale always came right in the end; and home was reached at last,
and no one a bit the worse for a good long swim in those well-aired,
sunlit waves.

Once we went on the top of the diligence to Étretat for the day, and
there we talked of poor Bonzig and his first and last dip in the
sea; and did "la coupe" in the waters that had been so fatal to him,
poor fellow!

Then we went by the steamer _Jean Bart_ to Trouville and Deauville,
and up the Seine in a steam-launch to Rouen.

In the afternoons and evenings we took long country walks and caught
moths, or went to Hâvre by tramway and cleared out all the
pastry-cooks in the Rue de Paris, and watched the transatlantic
steamers, out or home, from that gay pier which so happily combines
business with pleasure--utile dulci, as Père Brossard would have
said--and walked home by the charming Côte d'Ingouville, sacred to
the memory of Modeste Mignon.

And then, a little later on, I was a good Uncle Bob, and took the
whole party to Auteuil, near Paris, and hired two lordly mansions
next door to each other in the Villa Montmorency, and turned their
gardens into one.

Altogether, with the Scatcherds and ourselves, eight children,
governesses, nurses, and other servants, and dogs and the smaller
animals, we were a very large party, and a very lively one. I like
this sort of thing better than anything else in the world.

I hired carriages and horses galore, and for six weeks we made
ourselves thoroughly comfortable and at home in Paris and around.

That was the happiest holiday I ever had since the vacation Barty
and I spent at the Lafertés' in the Gué des Aulnes when we were

And such was our love for the sport he called "_la chasse aux
souvenirs_" that one day we actually went there, travelling by train
to La Tremblaye, where we spent the night.

It was a sad disenchantment!

The old Lafertés were dead, the young ones had left that part of the
country; and the house and what remained of the gardens now belonged
to another family, and had become formal and mean and business-like
in aspect, and much reduced in size.

Much of the outskirts of the forest had been cleared and was being
cleared still, and cheap little houses run up for workmen; an
immense and evil-smelling factory with a tall chimney had replaced
the old home-farm, and was connected by a single line of rails with
the station of La Tremblaye. The clear, pellucid stream where we
used to catch crayfish had been canalized--"s'est encanaillé," as
Barty called it--its waters fouled by barge traffic and all kinds of

We soon found the haunted pond that Barty was so fond of--but quite
in the open, close to an enormous brick-field, and only half full;
and with all its trees cut down, including the tree on which they
had hanged the gay young Viscount who had behaved so badly to
Séraphine Doucet, and on which Séraphine Doucet afterwards hanged
herself in remorse.

No more friendly charcoal-burners, no more wolves or boars or
cerfs--dix-cors; and as for were-wolves, the very memory of them had
died out.

There seems no greater desecration to me than cutting down an old
and well-remembered French forest I have loved; and solving all its
mystery, and laying bare the nakedness of the land in a way so
brutal and expeditious and unexpected. It reminds one of the manner
in which French market-women will pluck a goose before it's quite
dead; you bristle with indignation to see it, but you mustn't

La Tremblaye itself had become a flourishing manufacturing town, and
to our jaundiced and disillusioned eyes everybody and everything was
as ugly as could be--and I can't say we made much of a bag in the
way of souvenirs.

We were told that young Laferté was a barrister at Angers,
prosperous and married. We deliberated whether we would hunt him up
and talk of old times. Then we reflected how curiously cold and
inhospitable Frenchmen can sometimes be to old English friends in
circumstances like these--and how little they care to talk of old
times and all that, unless it's the Englishman who plays the host.

Ask a quite ordinary Frenchman to come and dine with you in London,
and see what a genial and charming person he can be--what a quick
bosom friend, and with what a glib and silver tongue to praise the
warmth of your British welcome.

Then go and call on him when you find yourself in Paris--and you
will soon learn to leave quite ordinary Frenchmen alone, on their
own side of the Channel.

Happily, there are exceptions to this rule!

Thus the sweet Laferté remembrance, which had so often come back to
me in my dreams, was forever spoiled by this unlucky trip.

It had turned that leaf from the tablets of my memory into a kind of
palimpsest, so that I could no longer quite make out the old
handwriting for the new, which would not be obliterated, and these
were confused lines it was hard to read between--with all my skill!

Altogether we were uncommonly glad to get back to the Villa
Montmorency--from the distorted shadows of a nightmare to happy

There, all was fresh and delightful; as boys we had often seen the
outside walls of that fine property which had come to the
speculative builder at last, but never a glimpse within; so that
there was no desecration for us in the modern laying out of that
beautiful double garden of ours, whatever there might have been for
such ghosts of Montmorencys as chose to revisit the glimpses of the

We haunted Auteuil, Passy, Point du Jour, Suresnes, Courbevoie,
Neuilly, Meudon--all the familiar places. Especially we often
haunted the neighborhood of the rond point de l'Avenue du Bois de

One afternoon, as he and I and Leah and Ida were driving round what
once was our old school, we stopped in the lane not far from the
porte-cochère, and Barty stood up on the box and tried to look over
the wall.

Presently, from the grand stone loge which had replaced Jaurion's
den, a nice old concierge came out and asked if we desired anything.
We told him how once we had been at school on that very spot, and
were trying to make out the old trees that had served as bases in
"la balle au camp," and that if we really desired anything just then
it was that we might become school-boys once more!

"Ah, ma foi! je comprends ça, messieurs--moi aussi, j'ai été
écolier, et j'aimais bien la balle au camp," said the good old man,
who had been a soldier.

He informed us the family were away, but that if we liked to come
inside and see the garden he was sure his master would have no
objection. We jumped at this kind offer and spent quite an hour
there, and if I were Barty I could so describe the emotions of that
hour that the reader would feel quite as tearfully grateful to me as
to Barty Josselin for Chapters III. and IV. in _Le Fil de la
Vierge_, which are really founded, _mutatis mutandis_, on this
self-same little adventure of ours.

Nothing remained of our old school--not even the outer walls;
nothing but the big trees and the absolute ground they grew out of.
Beautiful lawns, flower-beds, conservatories, summer-houses, ferns,
and evergreen shrubs made the place seem even larger than it had
once been--the very reverse of what usually happens--and softened
for us the disenchantment of the change.

Here, at least, was no desecration of a hallowed spot. When the past
has been dead and buried a long while ago there is no sweeter
decking for its grave than a rich autumn tangle, all yellow and
brown and pale and hectic red, with glossy evergreens and soft, damp
moss to keep up the illusion of spring and summer all the year

Much to the amusement of the old concierge and his wife, Barty
insisted on climbing into a huge horse-chestnut tree, in which was a
natural seat, very high up, where, well hidden by the dense foliage,
he and I used to color pipes for boys who couldn't smoke without
feeling sick.

Nothing would suit him now but that he must smoke a pipe there while
we talked to the good old couple below.

"Moi aussi, je fumais quand c'était défendu; que voulez-vous? Il
faut bien que jeunesse se passe, n'est ce pas?" said the old

"Ah, dame!" said his old wife, and sighed.

Every tree in this enchanted place had its history--every corner,
every square yard of soil. I will not inflict these histories on the
reader; I will restrain myself with all my might, and merely state
that just as the old school had been replaced by this noble dwelling
the noble dwelling itself has now been replaced, trees and garden
and all, by a stately palace many stories high, which rears itself
among so many other stately palaces that I can't even identify the
spot where once stood the Institution F. Brossard!

Later, Barty made me solemnly pledge my word that if he and Leah
should pre-decease me I would see to their due cremating and the
final mingling of their ashes; that a portion of these--say
half--should be set apart to be scattered on French soil, in places
he would indicate in his will, and that the lion's share of that
half should be sprinkled over the ground that once was our
play-ground, with--or without--the legitimate owner's permission.

(Alas! and ah me! These instructions would have been carried out to
the letter but that the place itself is no more; and, with a
conviction that I should be merely acting just as they would have
wished, I took it on myself to mingle with their ashes those of a
very sweet and darling child of theirs, dearer to them and to me and
to us all than any creature ever born into this cruel universe; and
I scattered a portion of these precious remains to the four winds,
close by the old spot we so loved.)

       *       *       *       *       *

Yes, that was a memorable holiday; the charming fête de St. Cloud
was in full swing--it was delightful to haunt it once more with
those dear young people so little dreamt of when Barty and I first
got into scrapes there, and were duly punished by Latin verbs to
conjugate in our best handwriting for Bonzig or Dumollard.

Then he and I would explore the so changed Bois de Boulogne for the
little "Mare aux Biches," where his father had fallen under the
sword of Lieutenant Rondelys; but we never managed to find it:
perhaps it had evaporated; perhaps the does had drunk it all up,
before they, too, had been made to vanish, before the German
invader--or inside him; for he was fond of French venison, as well
as of French clocks! He was a most omnivorous person.

Then Paris had endless charms for us both, and we relieved ourselves
at last of that long homesickness of years, and could almost believe
we were boys again, as we dived into such old and well-remembered
streets as yet remained.

There were still some slums we had loved; one or two of them exist
even now. Only the other day I saw the Rue de Cléry, the Rue de la
Lune, the Rue de la Montagne--all three on the south side of the
Boulevard Bonne Nouvelle: they are still terrible to look at from
the genial Boulevard, even by broad daylight--the houses so tall, so
irregular, the streets so narrow and winding and black. They seemed
to us boys terrible, indeed, between eight and nine on a winter's
evening, with just a lamp here and there to make their darkness
visible. Whither they led I can't say; we never dared explore their
obscure and mysterious recesses. They may have ended in the _cour
des miracles_ for all we knew--it was nearly fifty years ago--and
they may be quite virtuous abodes of poverty to-day; but they seemed
to us then strange, labyrinthine abysses of crime and secret dens of
infamy, where dreadful deeds were done in the dead of long winter
nights. Evidently, to us in those days, whoever should lose himself
there would never see daylight again; so we loved to visit them
after dark, with our hearts in our mouths, before going back to

We would sit on posts within call of the cheerful Boulevard, and watch
mysterious women hurry up and down in the cold, out of darkness into
light and back again, poor creatures--dingy moths, silent but ominous
night-jars, forlorn women of the town--ill-favored and ill-dressed, some
of them all but middle-aged, in common caps and aprons, with cotton
umbrellas, like cooks looking for a situation.

They never spoke to us, and seemed to be often brutally repulsed by
whatever men they did speak to--mostly men in blouses.

"Ô dis-donc, _Hôr_tense! qu'y _faît_ froid! quand donc qu'y s'ra
_ônze_ heures, q'nous allions nous _coû_cher?"

So said one of them to another one cold, drizzly night, in a raucous
voice, with low intonations of the gutter. The dimly felt horror and
despair and pathos of it sent us away shivering to our Passy omnibus
as fast as our legs could carry us.

That phrase has stuck in my memory ever since. Thank Heaven! the
eleventh hour must have struck long ago, and Hortense and her friend
must be fast asleep and well out of the cold by now--they need walk
those evil streets no more....

When we had exhausted it all, and we felt homesick for England
again, it was good to get back to Marsfield, high up over the
Thames--so beautiful in its rich October colors which the river
reflected--with its old trees that grew down to the water's edge,
and brooded by the boat-house there in the mellow sunshine.

And then again when it became cold and dreary, at Christmas-time
there was my big house at Lancaster Gate, where Josselins were fond
of spending some of the winter months, and where I managed to find
room for them all--with a little squeezing during the Christmas
holidays when the boys came home from school. What good times they

       *       *       *       *       *

"On May 24th, at Marsfield, Berks, the wife of Bartholomew Josselin,
of a daughter"--or, as Leah put it in her diary, "our seventh
daughter and ninth child--to be called Martia, or Marty for short."

It seems that Marty, prepared by her first ablution for this life,
and as she lay being powdered on Mrs. Jones's motherly lap, was of a
different type to her predecessors--much whiter, and lighter, and
slighter; and she made no exhibition of that lusty lung-power which
had so characterized the other little Barties on their introduction
to this vale of tears.

Her face was more regularly formed and more highly finished, and in
a few weeks grew of a beauty so solemn and pathetic that it would
sometimes make Mrs. Jones, who had lost babies of her own, shed
motherly tears merely to look at her.

Even _I_ felt sentimental about the child; and as for Barty, he
could talk of nothing else, and made those rough and hasty
silver-point studies of her head and face--mere sketches--which,
being full of obvious faults, became so quickly famous among
æsthetic and exclusive people who had long given up Barty as a
writer on account of his scandalous popularity.

Alas! even those silver-points have become popular now, and their
photogravures are in the shop-windows of sea-side resorts and in the
back parlors of the lower middle-class; so that the æsthetic
exclusives who are up to date have had to give up Barty altogether.
No one is sacred in those days--not even Shakespeare and Michael

We shall be hearing Schumann and Wagner on the piano-organ, and
"_nous autres_" of the cultured classes will have to fall back on
Balfe and Byron and Landseer.

In a few months little Marty became famous for this extra beauty all
over Henley and Maidenhead.

She soon grew to be the idol of her father's heart, and her
mother's, and Ida's. But I really think that if there was one person
who idolized her more than all the rest, it was I, Bob Maurice.

She was extremely delicate, and gave us much anxiety and many
alarms, and Dr. Knight was a very constant visitor at Marsfield
Lodge. It was fortunate, for her sake, that the Josselins had left
Campden Hill and made their home in Marsfield.

Nine of these children--including one not yet born then--developed
there into the finest and completest human beings, take them for all
in all, that I have ever known; nine--a good number!

"Numero Deus impare gaudet."

Or, as poor Rapaud translated this (and was pinched black and blue
by Père Brossard in consequence):

"Le numéro deux se réjouit d'être impair!" (Number two takes a
pleasure in being odd!)

The three sons--one of them now in the army, as becomes a Rohan; and
one a sailor, as becomes a Josselin; and one a famous actor, the
true Josselin of all--are the very types of what I should like for
the fathers of my grandchildren, if I had marriageable daughters of
my own.

And as for Barty's daughters, they are all--but one--so well known
in society and the world--so famous, I may say--that I need hardly
mention them here; all but Marty, my sweet little "maid of Dove."

When Barty took Marsfield he and I had entered what I have ever
since considered the happiest decade of a successful and healthy
man's life--the forties.

"Wait till you get to _forty year_!"

So sang Thackeray, but with a very different experience to mine. He
seemed to look upon the fifth decade as the grave of all tender
illusions and emotions, and exult!

My tender illusions and emotions became realties--things to live by
and for. As Barty and I "dipped our noses in the Gascon
wine"--Vougeot-Conti & Co.--I blessed my stars for being free of
Marsfield, which was, and is still, my real home, and for the warm
friendship of its inhabitants who have been my real family, and for
several years of unclouded happiness all round.

Even in winter what a joy it was, after a long solitary walk, or
ride, or drive, or railway journey, to suddenly find myself at dusk
in the midst of all that warmth and light and gayety; what a
contrast to the House of Commons; what a relief after Barge Yard or
Downing Street; what tea that was, what crumpets and buttered toast,
what a cigarette; what romps and jokes, and really jolly good fun;
and all that delightful untaught music that afterwards became so
cultivated! Music was a special inherited gift of the entire family,
and no trouble or expense was ever spared to make the best and the
most of it.

Roberta became the most finished and charming amateur pianist I ever
heard, and as for Mary _la rossignolle_--Mrs. Trevor--she's almost
as famous as if she had made singing her profession, as she once so
wished to do. She married happily instead, a better profession
still; and though her songs are as highly paid for as any--except,
perhaps, Madame Patti's--every penny goes to the poor.

She can make a nigger melody sound worthy of Schubert and a song of
Schumann go down with the common herd as if it were a nigger melody,
and obtain a genuine encore for it from quite simple people.

Why, only the other night she and her husband dined with me at the
Bristol, and we went to Baron Schwartzkind's in Piccadilly to meet
Royal Highnesses.

Up comes the Baron with:

"Ach, Mrs. Drefor! vill you not zing zomzing? ze Brincess vould be
so jarmt."

"I'll sing as much as you like, Baron, if you promise me you'll send
a checque for £50 to the Foundling Hospital to-morrow morning," says

"_I_'ll send _another_ fifty, Baron," says Bob Maurice. And the
Baron had to comply, and Mary sang again and again, and the Princess
was more than charmed.

She declared herself enchanted, and yet it was Brahms and Schumann
that Mary sang; no pretty little English ballad, no French, no

    "Aus meinen Thränen spriessen
       Viel' blühende Blumen hervor;
     Und meine Seufze werden
       Ein Nachtigallen Chor...."

So sang Mary, and I declare some of the royal eyes were moist.

They all sang and played, these Josselins; and tumbled and acted,
and were droll and original and fetching, as their father had been
and was still; and, like him, amiable and full of exuberant life;
and, like their mother, kind and appreciative and sympathetic and
ever thoughtful of others, without a grain of selfishness or


They were also great athletes, boys and girls alike; good swimmers
and riders, and first-rate oars. And though not as good at books and
lessons as they might have been, they did not absolutely disgrace
themselves, being so quick and intelligent.

Amid all this geniality and liveliness at home and this beauty of
surrounding nature abroad, little Marty seemed to outgrow in a
measure her constitutional delicacy.

It was her ambition to become as athletic as a boy, and she was
persevering in all physical exercises--and throw stones very
straight and far, with a quite easy masculine sweep of the arm; I
taught her myself.

It was also her ambition to draw, and she would sit for an hour or
more on a high stool by her father, or on the arm of his chair, and
watch him at his work in silence. Then she would get herself paper
and pencil, and try and do likewise; but discouragement would
overtake her, and she would have to give it up in despair, with a
heavy sigh and a clouded look on her lovely little pale face; and
yet they were surprisingly clever, these attempts of hers.

Then she took to dictating a novel to her sisters and to me: it was
all about an immense dog and three naughty boys, who were awful
dunces at school and ran away to sea, dog and all; and performed
heroic deeds in Central Africa, and grew up there, "booted and
bearded, and burnt to a brick!" and never married or fell in love,
or stooped to any nonsense of that kind.

This novel, begun in the handwriting of all of us, and continued in
her own, remained unfinished; and the precious MS. is now in my
possession. I have read it oftener than any other novel, French or
English, except, perhaps, _Vanity Fair_!

I may say that I had something to do with the development of her
literary faculty, as I read many good books to her before she could
read quite comfortably for herself: _Evenings at Home_, _The Swiss
Family Robinson_, _Gulliver_, _Robinson Crusoe_, books by
Ballantyne, Marryat, Mayne Reid, Jules Verne, etc., and _Treasure
Island_, _Tom Sawyer_, _Huckleberry Finn_, _The Wreck of the
Grosvenor_, and then her father's books, or some of them.

But even better than her famous novel were the stories she
improvised to me in a small boat which I often rowed up-stream while
she steered--one story, in particular, that had no end; she would
take it up at any time.

She had imagined a world where all trees and flowers and vegetation
(and some birds) were the size they are now; but men and beasts no
bigger than Lilliputians, with houses and churches and buildings to
match--and a family called Josselin living in a beautiful house
called Marsfield, as big as a piano organ.

Endless were the adventures by flood and field of these little
people: in the huge forest and on the gigantic river which it took
them nearly an hour to cross in a steam-launch when the wind was
high, or riding trained carrier-pigeons to distant counties, and the
coasts of Normandy, Brittany, and Picardy, where everything was on a
similar scale.

It would astonish me to find how vivid and real she could make these
imaginations of hers, and to me how fascinating--oddly enough she
reserved them for me only, and told no one else.

There was always an immensely big strong man, one Bobby Maurice, a
good-natured giant, nearly three inches high and over two ounces in
weight, who among other feats would eat a whole pea at a sitting,
and hold out an acorn at arm's-length, and throw a pepper-corn over
two yards--which has remained the record.

Then, coming back down-stream, she would take the sculls and I the
tiller, and I would tell her (in French) all about our school
adventures at Brossard's and Bonzig, and the Lafertés, and the
Revolution of February; and in that way she picked up a lot of
useful and idiomatic Parisian which considerably astonished Fräulein
Werner, the German governess, who yet knew French almost as well as
her own language--almost as well as Mr. Ollendorff himself.

She also changed one of the heroes in her famous novel, _Tommy
Holt_, into a French boy, and called him _Rapaud_!

She was even more devoted to animals than the rest of the family:
the beautiful Angora, Kitty, died when Marty was five, from an
abscess in her cheek, where she'd been bitten by a strange
bull-terrier; and Marty tearfully wrote her epitaph in a beautiful
round hand--

    "Here lies Kitty, full of grace;
     Died of an _abbess_ in her face!"

This was her first attempt at verse-making, and here's her last,
from the French of Sully-Prudhomme:

    "If you but knew what tears, alas!
       One weeps for kinship unbestowed,
     In pity you would sometimes pass
           My poor abode!

    "If you but knew what balm, for all
       Despond, lies in an angel's glance,
     Your looks would on my window fall
           As though by chance!

    "If you but knew the heart's delight
       To feel its fellow-heart is by,
     You'd linger, as a sister might,
           These gates anigh!

    "If you but knew how oft I yearn
       For one sweet voice, one presence dear,
     Perhaps you'd even simply turn
           And enter here!"

She was only just seventeen when she wrote them, and, upon my word,
I think they're almost as good as the original!

Her intimate friendship with Chucker-out, the huge St. Bernard,
lasted for nearly both their lives, alas! It began when they both
weighed exactly the same, and I could carry both in one arm. When he
died he turned the scale at sixteen stone, like me.

It has lately become the fashion to paint big dogs and little girls,
and engravings of these pictures are to be seen in all the
print-sellers' shops. It always touches me very much to look at
these works of art, although--and I hope it is not libellous to say
so--the big dog is always hopelessly inferior in beauty and dignity
and charm to Chucker-out, who was champion of his day. And as for
the little girls--_Ah, mon Dieu!_

Such pictures are not high art of course, and that is why I don't
possess one, as I've got an æsthetic character to keep up; but why they
shouldn't be I can't guess. Is it because no high artist--except Briton
Riviere--will stoop to so easily understood a subject?

A great master would not be above painting a small child or a big
dog separately--why should he be above putting them both in the same
picture? It would be too obvious, I suppose--like a melody by
Mozart, or Handel's "Harmonious Blacksmith," or Schubert's Serenade,
and other catchpenny tunes of the same description.

_I_ was also very intimate with Chucker-out, who made more of me
than he even did of his master.

One night I got very late to Marsfield by the last train, and,
letting myself in with my key, I found Chucker-out waiting for me in
the hall, and apparently in a very anxious frame of mind, and
extremely demonstrative, wanting to say something more than
usual--to confide a trouble, to confess!

We went up into the big music-room, which was still lighted, and lay
on a couch together; he, with his head on my knees, whimpering
softly as I smoked and read a paper.

Presently Leah came in and said:

"Such an unfortunate thing happened; Marty and Chucker-out were
playing on the slope, and he knocked her down and sprained her

As soon as Chucker-out heard Marty's name he sat up and whined
piteously, and pawed me down with great violence; pawed three
buttons off my waistcoat and broke my watch-chain--couldn't be
comforted; the misadventure had been preying on his mind for

I give this subject to Mr. Briton Riviere, who can paint both dogs and
children, and everything else he likes. I will sit for him myself, if he
wishes, and as a Catholic priest! He might call it a confession--and an
absolution! or, "The Secrets of the Confessional."

The good dog became more careful in future, and restrained his
exuberance even going down-stairs with Marty on the way to a ramble
in the woods, which excited him more than anything; if he came
down-stairs with anybody else, the violence of his joy was such that
one had to hold on by the banisters. He was a dear, good beast, and
a splendid body-guard for Marty in her solitary woodland
rambles--never left her side for a second. I have often watched him
from a distance, unbeknown to both; he was proud of his
responsibility--almost fussy about it.

I have been fond of many dogs, but never yet loved a dog as I loved
big Chucker-out--or _Choucroûte_, as Coralie, the French maid,
called him, to Fräulein Werner's annoyance (Choucroûte is French for
sauerkraut); and I like to remember him in his splendid prime,
guarding his sweet little mistress, whom I loved better than
anything else on earth. She was to me a kind of pet Marjorie, and
said such droll and touching things that I could almost fill a book
with them. I kept a diary on purpose, and called it Martiana.

She was tall, but lamentably thin and slight, poor dear, with her
mother's piercing black eyes and the very fair curly locks of her
papa--a curious and most effective contrast--and features and a
complexion of such extraordinary delicacy and loveliness that it
almost gave one pain in the midst of the keen pleasure one had in
the mere looking at her.

Heavens! how that face would light up suddenly at catching the
unexpected sight of some one she was fond of! How often it has
lighted up at the unexpected sight of "Uncle Bob"! The mere
remembrance of that sweet illumination brightens my old age for me
now; and I could almost wish her back again, in my senile
selfishness and inconsistency. Pazienza!

Sometimes she was quite embarrassing in her simplicity, and reminded
me of her father.

Once in Dieppe--when she was about eight--she and I had gone through
the Établissement to bathe, and people had stared at her even more
than usual and whispered to each other.

"I bet you don't know why they all stare so, Uncle Bob?"

"I give it up," said I.

"It's because I'm so _handsome_--we're _all_ handsome, you know, and
I'm the handsomest of the lot, it seems! _You_'re _not_ handsome,
Uncle Bob. But oh! aren't you _strong_! Why, you could tuck a
piou-piou under one arm and a postman under the other and walk up to
the castle with them and pitch them into the sea, _couldn't_ you?
And that's better than being handsome, _isn't_ it? I wish _I_ was
like that."

And here she cuddled and kissed my hand.

When Mary began to sing (under Signor R.) it was her custom of an
afternoon to lock herself up alone with a tuning-fork in a large
garret and practise, as she was shy of singing exercises before any
one else.

Her voice, even practising scales, would give Marty extraordinary
pleasure, and me, too. Marty and I have often sat outside and
listened to Mary's rich and fluent vocalizings; and I hoped that
Marty would develop a great voice also, as she was so like Mary in
face and disposition, except that Mary's eyes were blue and her hair
very black, and her health unexceptionable.

Marty did not develop a real voice, although she sang very prettily
and confidentially to me, and worked hard at the piano with Roberta;
she learned harmony and composed little songs, and wrote words to
them, and Mary or her father would sing them to her and make her
happy beyond description.

Happy! she was always happy during the first few years of her
life--from five or six to twelve.

I like to think her happiness was so great for this brief period,
that she had her full share of human felicity just as if she had
lived to the age of the Psalmist.

It seemed everybody's business at Marsfield to see that Marty had a
good time. This was an easy task, as she was so easy to amuse; and
when amused, herself so amusing to others.

As for me, it is hardly too much to say that every hour I could
spare from business and the cares of state was spent in organizing
the amusement of little Marty Josselin, and I was foolish enough to
be almost jealous of her own father and mother's devotion to the
same object.

Unlike her brothers and sisters, she was a studious little person,
and fond of books--too much so indeed, for all she was such a
tomboy; and all this amusement was designed by us with the purpose
of winning her away from the too sedulous pursuit of knowledge. I
may add that in temper and sweetness of disposition the child was
simply angelic, and could not be spoiled by any spoiling.

It was during these happy years at Marsfield that Barty, although
bereft of his Martia ever since that farewell letter, managed,
nevertheless, to do his best work, on lines previously laid down for
him by her.

For the first year or two he missed the feeling of the north most
painfully--it was like the loss of a sense--but he grew in time
accustomed to the privation, and quite resigned; and Marty, whom he
worshipped--as did her mother--compensated him for the loss of his

_Inaccessible Heights_, _Floréal et Fructidor_, _The Infinitely
Little_, _The Northern Pactolus_, _Pandore et sa Boîte_, _Cancer and
Capricorn_, _Phoebus et Séléné_ followed each other in leisurely
succession. And he also found time for those controversies that so
moved and amused the world; among others, his famous and triumphant
confutation of Canon ----, on one hand, and Professor ----, the
famous scientist, on the other, which has been compared to the
classic litigation about the oyster, since the oyster itself fell to
Barty's share, and a shell to each of the two disputants.

Orthodox and agnostic are as the poles asunder, yet they could not
but both agree with Barty Josselin, who so cleverly extended a hand
to each, and acted as a conductor between them.

That irresistible optimism which so forces itself upon all
Josselin's readers, who number by now half the world, and will
probably one day include the whole of it--when the whole of it is
civilized--belonged to him by nature, by virtue of his health and
his magnificent physique and his happy circumstances, and an
admirably balanced mind, which was better fitted for his particular
work and for the world's good than any special gift of genius in one

His literary and artistic work never cost him the slightest effort.
It amused him to draw and write more than did anything else in the
world, and he always took great pains, and delighted in taking them;
but himself he never took seriously for one moment--never realized
what happiness he gave, and was quite unconscious of the true value
of all he thought and wrought and taught!

He laughed good-humoredly at the passionate praise that for thirty
years was poured upon him from all quarters of the globe, and
shrugged his shoulders at the coarse invective of those whose
religious susceptibilities he had so innocently wounded; left all
published insults unanswered; never noticed any lie printed about
himself--never wrote a paragraph in explanation or self-defence, but
smoked many pipes and mildly wondered.

Indeed he was mildly wondering all his life: at his luck--at all the
ease and success and warm domestic bliss that had so compensated him
for the loss of his left eye and would almost have compensated him
for the loss of both.

"It's all because I'm so deuced good-looking!" says Barty--"and so's

And all his life he sorrowed for those who were less fortunate than
himself. His charities and those of his wife were immense--he gave
all the money, and she took all the trouble.

"C'est papa qui paie et maman qui régale," as Marty would say; and
never were funds distributed more wisely.

But often at odd moments the Weltschmerz, the sorrow of the world,
would pierce this man who no longer felt sorrows of his own--stab
him through and through--bring the sweat to his temples--fill his
eyes with that strange pity and trouble that moved you so deeply
when you caught the look; and soon the complicated anguish of that
dim regard would resolve itself into gleams of a quite celestial
sweetness--and a heavenly message would go forth to mankind in such
simple words that all might read who ran....

All these endowments of the heart and brain, which in him were
masculine and active, were possessed in a passive form by his wife;
instead of the buoyant energy and boisterous high spirits, she had
patience and persistency that one felt to be indomitable, and a
silent sympathy that never failed, and a fund of cheerfulness and
good sense on which any call might be made by life without fear of
bankruptcy; she was of those who could play a losing game and help
others to play it--and she never had a losing game to play!

These gifts were inherited by their children, who, more-over, were
so fed on their father's books--so imbued with them--that one felt
sure of their courage, endurance, and virtue, whatever misfortunes
or temptations might assail them in this life.

One felt this especially with the youngest but one, Marty, who, with
even more than her due share of those gifts of the head and heart
they had all inherited from their two parents, had not inherited
their splendid frames and invincible health.

Roderick, _alias_ Mark Tapley, _alias_ Chips, who is now the sailor,
was, oddly enough, the strongest and the hardiest of the whole
family, and yet he was born two years after Marty. She always
declared she brought him up and made a man of him, and taught him
how to throw stones, and how to row and ride and swim; and that it
was entirely to her he owed it that he was worthy to be a
sailor--her ideal profession for a man.

He was devoted to her, and a splendid little chap, and in the
holidays he and she and I were inseparable, and of course
Chucker-out, who went with us wherever it was--Hâvre, Dieppe,
Dinard, the Highlands, Whitby, etc.

Once we were privileged to settle ourselves for two months in Castle
Rohan, through the kindness of Lord Whitby; and that was the best
holiday of all--for the young people especially. And more especially
for Barty himself, who had such delightful boyish recollections of
that delightful place, and found many old friends among the sailors
and fisher people--who remembered him as a boy.

Chips and Marty and I and the faithful Chucker-out were never
happier than on those staiths where there is always such an ancient
and fishlike smell; we never tired of watching the miraculous
draughts of silver herring being disentangled from the nets and
counted into baskets, which were carried on the heads of the
stalwart, scaly fishwomen, and packed with salt and ice in
innumerable barrels for Billingsgate and other great markets; or
else the sales by auction of huge cod and dark-gray dog-fish as they
lay helpless all of a row on the wet flags amid a crowd of sturdy
mariners looking on, with their hands in their pockets and their
pipes in their mouths.

Then over that restless little bridge to the picturesque old town,
and through its long, narrow street, and up the many stone steps to
the ruined abbey and the old church on the East Cliff; and the old
churchyard, where there are so many stones in memory of those who
were lost at sea.

It was good to be there, in such good company, on a sunny August
morning, and look around and about and down below: the miles and
miles of purple moor, the woods of Castle Rohan, the wide North Sea,
which turns such a heavenly blue beneath a cloudless sky; the two
stone piers, with each its lighthouse, and little people patiently
looking across the waves for Heaven knows what! the busy harbor full
of life and animation; under our feet the red roofs of the old town
and the little clock tower of the market-place; across the stream
the long quay with its ale-houses and emporiums and jet shops and
lively traffic; its old gabled dwellings and their rotting wooden
balconies. And rising out of all this, tier upon tier, up the
opposite cliff, the Whitby of the visitors, dominated by a gigantic
windmill that is--or was--almost as important a landmark as the old
abbey itself.

To the south the shining river ebbs and flows, between its big
ship-building yards and the railway to York, under endless moving
craft and a forest of masts, now straight on end, now slanting
helplessly on one side when there's not water enough to float their
keels; and the long row of Cornish fishing-smacks, two or three

How the blue smoke of their cooking wreathes upward in savory whiffs
and whirls! They are good cooks, these rovers from Penzance, and do
themselves well, and remind us that it is time to go and get lunch
at the hotel.

We do, and do ourselves uncommonly well also; and afterwards we take
a boat, we four (if the tide serves), and row up for a mile or so to
a certain dam at Ruswarp, and there we take another boat on a lovely
little secluded river, which is quite independent of tides, and
where for a mile or more the trees bend over us from either side as
we leisurely paddle along and watch the leaping salmon-trout,
pulling now and then under a drooping ash or weeping-willow to gaze
and dream or chat, or read out loud from _Sylvia's Lovers_; Sylvia
Robson once lived in a little farm-house near Upgang, which we know
well, and at Whitby every one reads about Sylvia Robson; or else we
tell stories, or inform each other what a jolly time we're having,
and tease old Chucker-out, who gets quite excited, and we admire the
discretion with which he disposes of his huge body as ballast to
trim the boat, and remains perfectly still in spite of his
excitement for fear he should upset us. Indeed, he has been learning
all his life how to behave in boats, and how to get in and out of

And so on till tea-time at five, and we remember there's a little
inn at Sleights, where the scones are good; or, better still, a
leafy garden full of raspberry-bushes at Cock Mill, where they give
excellent jam with your tea, and from which there are three ways of
walking back to Whitby when there's not enough water to row--and
which is the most delightful of those three ways has never been
decided yet.

Then from the stone pier we watch a hundred brown-sailed Cornish
fishing-smacks follow each other in single file across the harbor
bar and go sailing out into the west as the sun goes down--a most
beautiful sight, of which Marty feels all the mystery and the charm
and the pathos, and Chips all the jollity and danger and romance.

Then to the trap, and home all four of us _au grand trot_, between
the hedge-rows and through the splendid woods of Castle Rohan; there
at last we find all the warmth and light and music and fun of
Marsfield, and many good things besides: supper, dinner, tea--all in
one; and happy, healthy, hungry, indefatigable boys and girls who've
been trapesing over miles and miles of moor and fell, to beautiful
mills and dells and waterfalls--too many miles for slender Marty or
little Chips; or even Bob and Chucker-out--who weigh thirty-two
stone between them, and are getting lazy in their old age, and fat
and scant of breath.

Whitby is an ideal place for young people; it almost makes old
people feel young themselves there when the young are about; there
is so much to do.

I, being the eldest of the large party, chummed most of the time
with the two youngest and became a boy again; so much so that I felt
myself almost a sneak when I tactfully tried to restrain such
exuberance of spirits on their part as might have led them into
mischief: indeed it was difficult not to lead them into mischief
myself; all the old inventiveness (that had got me and others into
so many scrapes at Brossard's) seemed to come back, enhanced by
experience and maturity.

At all events, Marty and Chips were happier with me than without--of
that I feel quite sure, for I tested it in many ways.

I always took immense pains to devise the kinds of excursion that
would please them best, and these never seemed to fail of their
object; and I was provident and well skilled in all details of the
commissariat (Chips was healthily alimentative); I was a very
_Bradshaw_ at trains and times and distances, and also, if I am not
bragging too much, and making myself out an Admirable Crichton,
extremely weatherwise, and good at carrying small people pickaback
when they got tired.

Marty was well up in local folk-lore, and had mastered the history
of Whitby and St. Hilda, and Sylvia Robson; and of the old obsolete
whaling-trade, in which she took a passionate interest; and fixed
poor little Chips's mind with a passion for the Polar regions (he is
now on the coast of Senegambia).

We were much on the open sea ourselves, in cobles; sometimes the big
dog with us--"Joomboa," as the fishermen called him; and they
marvelled at his good manners and stately immobility in a boat.

One afternoon--a perfect afternoon--we took tea at Runswick, from
which charming little village the Whitbys take their second title,
and had ourselves rowed round the cliffs to Staithes, which we
reached just before sunset; Chips and his sister also taking an oar
between them, and I another. There, on the brink of the little bay,
with the singularly quaint and picturesque old village behind it,
were fifty fishing-boats side by side waiting to be launched, and
all the fishing population of Staithes were there to launch
them--men, women and children; as we landed we were immediately
pressed into the service.

Marty and Chips, wild with enthusiasm, pushed and yo-ho'd with the
best; and I also won some commendation by my hearty efforts in the
common cause. Soon the coast was clear of all but old men and boys,
women and children, and our four selves; and the boats all sailed
westward, in a cluster, and lost themselves in the golden haze. It
was the prettiest sight I ever saw, and we were all quite romantic
about it.

Chucker-out held a small court on the sands, and was worshipped and
fed with stale fish by a crowd of good-looking and agreeable little
lasses and lads who called him "Joomboa," and pressed Chips and
Marty for biographical details about him, and were not disappointed.
And I smoked a pipe of pipes with some splendid old salts, and
shared my Honeydew among them.

Nous étions bien, là!

So sped those happy weeks--with something new and exciting every
day--even on rainy days, when we wore waterproofs and big
india-rubber boots and sou'westers, and Chucker-out's coat got so
heavy with the soak that he could hardly drag himself along: and we
settled, we three at least, that we would never go to France or
Scotland--never any more--never anywhere in the world but Whitby,
jolly Whitby--

Ah me! l'homme propose....

Marty always wore a red woollen fisherman's cap that hung down
behind over the waving masses of her long, thick yellow hair--a blue
jersey of the elaborate kind women knit on the Whitby quay--a short,
striped petticoat like a Boulogne fishwife's, and light brown
stockings on her long, thin legs.

I have a photograph of her like that, holding a shrimping-net; with
a magnifying-glass, I can see the little high-light in the middle of
each jet-black eye--and every detail and charm and perfection of her
childish face. Of all the art-treasures I've amassed in my long
life, that is to me the most beautiful, far and away--but I can't
look at it yet for more than a second at a time....

    "O tempo passato, perchè non ritorni?"

As Mary is so fond of singing to me sometimes, when she thinks I've
got the blues. As if I haven't always got the blues!

All Barty's teaching is thrown away on me, now that he's not here
himself to point his moral--

    "Et je m'en vais
     Au vent mauvais
           Qui m'emporte
     Deçà, delà,
     Pareil à la
           Feuille morte...."

Heaven bless thee, Mary dear, rossignolet de mon âme! Would thou
wert ever by my side! fain would I keep thee for myself in a golden
cage, and feed thee on the tongues of other nightingales, so thou
mightst warble every day, and all day long. By some strange
congenital mystery the native tuning of thy voice is such, for me,
that all the pleasure of my past years seems to go forever ringing
in every single note. Thy dear mother speaks again, thy gay young
father rollicks and jokes and sings, and little Marty laughs her
happy laugh.

_Da capo, e da capo_, Mary--only at night shouldst thou cease from
thy sweet pipings, that I might smoke myself to sleep, and dream
that all is once more as it used to be.

       *       *       *       *       *

The writing, such as it is, of this life of Barty Josselin--which
always means the writing of so much of my own--has been to me, up to
the present moment, a great source of consolation, almost of
delight, when the pen was in my hand and I dived into the past.

But now the story becomes such a record of my own personal grief
that I have scarcely the courage to go on; I will get through it as
quickly as I can.

It was at the beginning of the present decade that the bitter thing
arose--medio de fonte leporum; just as all seemed so happy and
secure at Marsfield.

One afternoon in May I arrived at the house, and nobody was at home;
but I was told that Marty was in the wood with old Chucker-out, and
I went thither to find her, loudly whistling a bar which served as a
rallying signal to the family. It was not answered, but after a long
hunt I found Marty lying on the ground at the foot of a tree, and
Chucker-out licking her face and hands.

She had been crying, and seemed half-unconscious.

When I spoke to her she opened her eyes and said:

"Oh, Uncle Bob, I _have_ hurt myself so! I fell down that tree. Do
you think you could carry me home?"

Beside myself with terror and anxiety, I took her up as gently as I
could, and made my way to the house. She had hurt the base of her
spine as she fell on the roots of the tree; but she seemed to get
better as soon as Sparrow, the nurse, had undressed her and put her
to bed.

I sent for the doctor, however, and he thought, after seeing her,
that I should do well to send for Dr. Knight.

Just then Leah and Barty came in, and we telegraphed for Dr. Knight,
who came at once.

Next day Dr. Knight thought he had better have Sir ---- ----, and
there was a consultation.

Marty kept her bed for two or three days, and then seemed to have
completely recovered but for a slight internal disturbance, brought
on by the concussion, and which did not improve.

One day Dr. Knight told me he feared very much that this would end
in a kind of ataxia of the lower limbs--it might be sooner or later;
indeed, it was Sir ---- ----'s opinion that it would be sure to do
so in the end--that spinal paralysis would set in, and that the
child would become a cripple for life, and for a life that would not
be long.

I had to tell this to her father and mother.

       *       *       *       *       *

Marty, however, recovered all her high spirits. It was as if nothing
had happened or could happen, and during six months everything at
Marsfield went on as usual but for the sickening fear that we three
managed to conceal in our hearts, even from each other.

At length, one day as Marty and I were playing lawn-tennis, she
suddenly told me that her feet felt as if they were made of lead,
and I knew that the terrible thing had come....

I must really pass over the next few months.

In the summer of the following year she could scarcely walk without
assistance, and soon she had to go about in a bath-chair.

Soon, also, she ceased to be conscious when her lower limbs were
pinched and pricked till an interval of about a second had elapsed,
and this interval increased every month. She had no natural
consciousness of her legs and feet whatever unless she saw them,
although she could move them still and even get in and out of bed,
or in and out of her bath-chair, without much assistance, so long as
she could see her lower limbs. Often she would stumble and fall
down, even on a grassy lawn. In the dark she could not control her
movements at all.

She was also in constant pain, and her face took on permanently the
expression that Barty's often wore when he thought he was going
blind in Malines, although, like him in those days, she was always
lively and droll, in spite of this heavy misfortune, which seemed to
break every heart at Marsfield except her own.

For, alas! Barty Josselin, who has so lightened for us the sorrow of
mere bereavement, and made quick-coming death a little thing--for
some of us, indeed, a lovely thing--has not taught us how to bear
the sufferings of those we love, the woful ache of pity for pangs we
are powerless to relieve and can only try to share.

Endeavor as I will, I find I cannot tell this part of my story as it
should be told; it should be a beautiful story of sweet young
feminine fortitude and heroic resignation--an angel's story.

During the four years that Martia's illness lasted the only comfort
I could find in life was to be with her--reading to her, teaching
her blaze, rowing her on the river, driving her, pushing or dragging
her bath-chair; but, alas! watching her fade day by day.

Strangely enough, she grew to be the tallest of all her sisters, and
the most beautiful in the face; she was so wasted and thin she could
hardly be said to have had a body or limbs at all.

I think the greatest pleasure she had was to lie and be sung to by
Mary or her father, or played to by Roberta, or chatted to about
domestic matters by Leah, or read to by me. She took the keenest
interest in everything that concerned us all; she lived out of
herself entirely, and from day to day, taking short views of life.

It filled her with animation to see the people who came to the house
and talk with them; and among these she made many passionately
devoted friends.

There were also poor children from the families of laborers in the
neighborhood, in whom she had always taken a warm interest. She now
organized them into regular classes, and taught and amused them and
told them stories, sang funny songs to them, and clothed and fed
them with nice things, and they grew to her an immense hobby and
constant occupation.

She also became a quite surprising performer on the banjo, which her
father had taught her when she was quite a little girl, and invented
charming tunes and effects and modulations that had never been tried
on that humble instrument before. She could have made a handsome
living out of it, crippled as she was.

She seemed the busiest, drollest, and most contented person in
Marsfield; she all but consoled us for the dreadful thing that had
happened to herself, and laughingly pitied us for pitying her.

So much for the teaching of Barty Josselin, whose books she knew by
heart, and constantly read and reread.

And thus, in spite of all, the old, happy, resonant cheerfulness
gradually found its way back to Marsfield, as though nothing had
happened; and poor broken Marty, who had always been our idol,
became our goddess, our prop and mainstay, the angel in the house,
the person for every one to tell their troubles to--little or
big--their jokes, their good stories; there was never a laugh like
hers, so charged with keen appreciation of the humorous thing, the
relish of which would come back to her again and again at any
time--even in the middle of the night when she could not always
sleep for her pain; and she would laugh anew.

Ida Scatcherd and I, with good Nurse Sparrow to help, wished to take
her to Italy--to Egypt--but she would not leave Marsfield, unless it
were to spend the winter months with all of us at Lancaster Gate, or
the autumn in the Highlands or on the coast of Normandy.

[Illustration: MARTY]

And indeed neither Barty nor Leah nor the rest could have got on without
her; they would have had to come, too--brothers, sisters, young
husbands, grandchildren, and all.

Never but once did she give way. It was one June evening, when I was
reading to her some favorite short poems out of Browning's _Men and
Women_ on a small lawn surrounded with roses, and of which she was

The rest of the family were on the river, except her father and
mother, who were dressing to go and dine with some neighbors; for a
wonder, as they seldom dined away from home.

The carriage drove up to the door to fetch them, and they came out
on the lawn to wish us good-night.

Never had I been more struck with the splendor of Barty and his
wife, now verging towards middle age, as they bent over to kiss
their daughter, and he cut capers and cracked little jokes to make
her laugh.

Leah's hair was slightly gray and her magnificent figure somewhat
matronly, but there were no other signs of autumn; her beautiful
white skin was still as delicate as a baby's, her jet-black eyes as
bright and full, her teeth just as they were thirty years back.

Tall as she was, her husband towered over her, the finest and
handsomest man of his age I have ever seen. And Marty gazed after
them with her heart in her eyes as they drove off.

"How splendid they are, Uncle Bob!"

Then she looked down at her own shrunken figure and limbs--her long,
wasted legs and her thin, slight feet that were yet so beautifully

And, hiding her face in her hands, she began to cry:

"And I'm their poor little daughter--oh dear, oh dear!"

She wept silently for a while, and I said nothing, but endured an
agony such as I cannot describe.

Then she dried her eyes and smiled, and said:

"What a goose I am," and, looking at me--

"Oh! Uncle Bob, forgive me; I've made you very unhappy--it shall
never happen again!"

Suddenly the spirit moved me to tell her the story of Martia.

Leah and Barty and I had often discussed whether she should be told
this extraordinary thing, in which we never knew whether to believe
or not, and which, if there were a possibility of its being true,
concerned Marty so directly.

They settled that they would leave it entirely to me--to tell her or
not, as my own instinct would prompt me, should the opportunity

My instinct prompted me to do so now. I shall not forget that

The full moon rose before the sun had quite set, and I talked on and
on. The others came in to dinner. She and I had some dinner brought
to us out there, and on I talked--and she could scarcely eat for
listening. I wrapped her well up, and lit pipe after pipe, and went
on talking, and a nightingale sang, but quite unheard by Marty

She did not even hear her sister Mary, whose voice went lightly up
to heaven through the open window:

     "Oh that we two were maying!"

And when we parted that night she thanked and kissed me so
effusively I felt that I had been happily inspired.

"I believe every word of it's true; I know it, I feel it! Uncle Bob,
you have changed my life; I have often desponded when nobody
knew--but never again! Dear papa! Only think of him! As if any human
being alive could write what he has written without help from above
or outside. Of course it's all true; I sometimes think I can almost
remember things.... I'm sure I can."

Barty and Leah were well pleased with me when they came home that

That Marty was doomed to an early death did not very deeply distress
them. It is astonishing how lightly they thought of death, these
people for whom life seemed so full of joy; but that she should ever
be conscious of the anguish of her lot while she lived was to them
intolerable--a haunting preoccupation.

To me, a narrower and more selfish person, Marty had almost become
to me life itself--her calamity had made her mine forever; and life
without her had become a thing not to be conceived: her life was my

That life of hers was to be even shorter than we thought, and I love
to think that what remained of it was made so smooth and sweet by
what I told her that night.

I read all Martia's blaze letters to her, and helped her to read
them for herself, and so did Barty. She got to know them by
heart--especially the last; she grew to talk as Martia wrote; she
told me of strange dreams she had often had--dreams she had told
Sparrow and her own brothers and sisters when she was a
child--wondrous dreams, in their seeming confirmation of what seemed
to us so impossible. Her pains grew slighter and ceased.

And now her whole existence had become a dream--a tranquil, happy
dream; it showed itself in her face, its transfigured, unearthly
beauty--in her cheerful talk, her eager sympathy; a kind of heavenly
pity she seemed to feel for those who had to go on living out their
normal length of days. And always the old love of fun and frolic and
pretty tunes.

Her father would make her laugh till she cried, and the same fount
of tears would serve when Mary sang Brahms and Schubert and Lassen
to her--and Roberta played Chopin and Schumann by the hour.

So she might have lived on for a few years--four or five--even ten.
But she died at seventeen, of mere influenza, very quickly and
without much pain. Her father and mother were by her bedside when
her spirit passed away, and Dr. Knight, who had brought her into the

She woke from a gentle doze and raised her head, and called out in a
clear voice:

"_Barty--Leah--come, to me, come!_"

And fell back dead.

Barty bowed his head and face on her hand, and remained there as if
asleep. It was Leah who drew her eyelids down.

An hour later Dr. Knight came to me, his face distorted with grief.

"It's all over?" I said.

"Yes, it's all over."

"And Leah?"

"Mrs. Josselin is with her husband. She's a noble woman; she seems
to bear it well."

"And Barty?"

"Barty Josselin is no more."



[First figure indicates Page; second figure, Line.]

  3, 26. _odium theologicum_--theological hatred.

  3, 27. _sæva indignatio_--fierce indignation.

  5,  1. "_De Paris à Versailles_," etc.--
         "From Paris to Versailles, lon, là,
           From Paris to Versailles--
         There are many fine walks,
           Hurrah for the King of France!
         There are many fine walks,
           Hurrah for the school-boys!"

  5,  2. _salle d'études des petits_--study-room of the smaller

  6, 11. _parloir_--parlor.

  6, 14. _e da capo_--and over again.

  6, 16. _le Grand Bonzig_--the Big Bonzig.

  6, 17. _estrade_--platform.

  8,  2. _à la malcontent_--convict style.

  8,  5. _ceinture de gymnastique_--a wide gymnasium belt.

  8, 16. _marchand de coco_--licorice-water seller.

  8, 17. _Orphéonistes_--members of musical societies.

  8, 32. _exceptis excipiendis_--exceptions being made.

  9, 10. "_Infandum, regina, jubes renovare_" ("_dolorem_"), etc.
         "Thou orderest me, O queen, to renew the unutterable

  9, 17. "_Mouche-toi donc, animal! tu me dégoûtes, à la fin!_"--"Blow
         your nose, you beast, you disgust me!"

  9, 20. "_Taisez-vous, Maurice--ou je vous donne cent vers à
         copier!_ "--"Hold your tongue, Maurice, or I will give you
         a hundred lines to copy!"

 10, 20. "_Oui, m'sieur!_"--"Yes, sir!"

 10, 25. "_Moi, m'sieur?_"--"I, sir?"

 10, 26. "_Oui, vous!_"--"Yes, you!"

 10, 27. "_Bien, m'sieur!_"--"Very well, sir!"

 10, 31. "_Le Roi qui passe!_"--"There goes the King!"

 12,  3. "_Fermez les fenêtres, ou je vous mets tous au pain sec
         Pour un mois!_"--"Shut the windows, or I will put you all
         on dry bread for a month!"

 13,  1. "_Soyez diligent et attentif, mon ami; à plus tard!_"--"Be
         Diligent and attentive, my friend; I will see you later!"

 13,  6. _en cinquième_--in the fifth class.

 13, 11. _le nouveau_--the new boy.

 14,  8. "_Fermez votre pupitre_"--"Shut your desk."

 14, 34. _jocrisse_--effeminate man.

 15,  1. _paltoquet_--clown.
         _petit polisson_--little scamp.

 15, 32. _lingère_--seamstress.

 16, 13. _quatrième_--fourth class.

 16, 21. "_Notre Père, ... les replies les plus profonds de nos
         coeurs_"--"Our Father, who art in heaven, Thou whose
         searching glance penetrates even to the inmost recesses of
         our hearts."

 16, 24. "_au nom du Père, du Fils, et du St. Esprit, ainsi
         soit-il!_"--"in the name of the Father, the Son, and the
         Holy Ghost, so be it!"

 18, 21. _concierge_--janitor.
         _croquets_--crisp almond cakes.

 18, 22. _blom-boudingues_--plum puddings.
         _pains d'épices_--gingerbreads.
         _sucre-d'orge_--barley sugar.

 18, 23. _nougat_--almond cake.
         _pâte de guimauve_--marshmallow paste.
         _pralines_--burnt almonds.

 18, 30. _le père et la mère_--father and mother.

 19,  2. _corps de logis_--main buildings.

 19, 13. _la table des grands_--the big boys' table.
         _la table des petits_--the little boys' table.

 19, 27. _brouet noir des Lacédémoniens_--the black broth of the

 20, 25. _À la retenue_--To be kept in.

 20, 29. _barres traversières_--crossbars.

 20, 30. _la raie_--leap-frog.

 21, 14. _rentiers_--stockholders.

 21, 20. _Classe d'Histoire de France au moyen âge_--Class of the
         History of France during the Middle Ages.

 21, 27. _trente-septième légère_--thirty-seventh light infantry.

 22, 13. _nous avons changé tout cela!_--we have changed all that!

 22, 16. _représentant du peuple_--representative of the people.

 22, 19. _les nobles_--the nobles.

 22, 27. _par parenthèse_--by way of parenthesis.

 22, 30. _lingerie_--place where linen is kept.

 24, 30. _Berthe aux grands pieds_--Bertha of the big feet. (She was
         the mother of Charlemagne, and is mentioned in the poem
         that Du Maurier elsewhere calls "that never to be
         translated, never to be imitated lament, the immortal
         'Ballade des Dames du Temps Jadis'" of François Villon.)

 25, 23. _Allée du Bois de Boulogne_--Lane of the Bois de Boulogne.

 25, 28. _pensionnat_--boarding-school.

 28,  4. _la belle Madame de Ronsvic_--the beautiful Lady Runswick.

 28, 33. _deuxième Spahis_--second Spahi regiment.

 30,  4. _Mare aux Biches_--The Roes Pool.

 30, 14. _la main si malheureuse_--such an unfortunate hand.

 31.  2. _La Dieppoise_--a dance of Dieppe.

 31,  5. "_Beuvons, donc_," etc.
         "Let's drink, drink, drink then
           Of this, the best wine in the world ...
         Let's drink, drink, drink then
           Of this, the very best wine!
         For if I didn't drink it,
           I might get the pip!
         Which would make me...."

 31, 13. "_Ah, mon Dieu! quel amour d'enfant! Oh! gardons-le!_"--"Ah,
         my Lord! what a love of a child! Oh! let us keep him!"

 32,  5. _cæteris paribus_--other things being equal.

 34, 19. _à propos_--seasonable.

 35,  3. _chaire_--master's raised desk.

 35,  6. _recueillement_--contemplation.

 35, 11. "_Non, m'sieur, je n'dors pas. J' travaille._"--"No, sir,
         I'm not asleep. I'm working."

 36,  1. _à la porte_--to leave the room.

36, 14.  _On demande Monsieur Josselin au parloir_--Mr. Josselin is
         Wanted in the parlor.

 36, 24. _pensum_--a task.

 36, 31. _maître de mathématiques_ (_et de cosmographie_)--teacher
         of mathematics (and cosmography).

 37, 17. _Mes compliments_--My compliments.

 38,  5. "_Quelquefois je sais ... il n'y a pas à s'y
         tromper!_"--"Sometimes I know--sometimes I don't--but when
         I know, I know, and there is no mistake about it!"

 38, 18. "_À l'amandier!_"--"At the almond-tree!"

 38, 21. _la balle au camp_--French baseball.

 39,  6. _aussi simple que bonjour_--as easy as saying good-day.

 40, 17. "_C'était pour Monsieur Josselin._"--"It was for Mr.

 41, 11. _quorum pars magna fui_--of which I was a great part.

 41, 16. _bourgeois gentilhomme_--citizen gentleman. (The title of
         one of Molière's comedies in which M. Jourdain is the
         principal character.)

 42, 29. _Dis donc_--Say now.

 43,  4. "_Ma foi, non! c'est pas pour ça!_"--"My word, no! it isn't
         for that!"

 43,  5. "_Pourquoi, alors?_"--"Why, then?"

 43, 21. _Jolivet trois_--the third Jolivet.

 44,  2. _au rabais_--at bargain sales.

 44, 32. "_Comme c'est bête, de s'battre, hein?_"--"How stupid it is
         to fight, eh?"

 45,  9. _tuum et meum_--thine and mine.

 45, 19. _magnifique_--magnificent.

 45, 32. _La quatrième Dimension_--The fourth Dimension.

 46, 14. _Étoiles mortes_--Dead Stars.

 46, 15. _Les Trépassées de François Villon_--The Dead of François

 46, 29. _École des Ponts et Chaussées_--School of Bridges and

 47,  8. _en cachette_--in hiding.
         _Quelle sacrée pose!_--What a damned bluff!

 47, 12. "_Dis donc, Maurice!--prête-moi ton Ivanhoé!_"--"Say now,
         Maurice!--lend me your _Ivanhoe_!"

 47, 20. "_Rapaud, comment dit-on 'pouvoir' en anglais?_"--"Rapaud,
         how do they say 'to be able' in English?"

 47, 21. "_Sais pas, m'sieur!_"--"Don't know, sir!"

 47, 22. "_Comment, petit crétin, tu ne sais pas!_"--"What, little
         idiot, you don't know!"

 47, 26. "_Je n' sais pas!_"--"I don't know!"

 47, 27. "_Et toi, Maurice_"--"And you, Maurice?"

 47, 28. "_Ça se dit 'to be able' m'sieur!_"--"They would say 'to be
         able,' sir!"

 47, 29. "_Mais non, mon ami ... 'je voudrais pouvoir'?_"--"Why no,
         my friend--you forget your native language--they would say
         'to can'! Now, how would you say, 'I would like to be able'
         in English?"

 47, 32. _Je dirais_--I would say.

 47, 33. "_Comment, encore! petit cancre! allons--tu es Anglais--tu
         sais bien que tu dirais!_"--"What, again! Little
         dunce--come, you are English--you know very well that you
         would say, ..."

 48,  1. _À ton tour_--Your turn.

 48,  4. "_Oui, toi--comment dirais-tu, 'je pourrais vouloir'?_"--"Yes,
         you--how would you say 'I would be able to will'?"

 48,  7. "_À la bonne heure! au moins tu sais ta langue, toi!_"--"Well
         and good! you at least know your language!"

 48, 17. _Île des Cygnes_--Isle of Swans.

 48, 18. _École de Natation_--Swimming-school.

 48, 26. _Jardin des Plantes_--The Paris Zoological Gardens.

 49,  1. "_Laissons les regrets et les pleurs
                 A la vieillesse;
         Jeunes, il faut cueillir les fleurs
                 De la jeunesse!_"--Baïf.

         "Let us leave regrets and tears
                 To age;
         Young, we must gather the flowers
                 Of youth."

 49, 13. _demi-tasse_--small cup of coffee.

 49, 14. _chasse-café_--drink taken after coffee.

 49, 19. _consommateur_--consumer.

 49, 21. _Le petit mousse noir_--The little black cabin boy.

 49, 24. "_Allons, Josselin, chante-nous ça!_"--"Come, Josselin,
         sing that to us!"

 50,  7. "_Écoute-moi bien, ma Fleurette_"--"Listen well to me, my
         "_Amis, la matinée est belle_"--"Friends, the morning is

 50, 12. "_Conduis ta barque avec prudence_," etc.
         "Steer thy bark with prudence,
           Fisherman! speak low!
         Throw thy nets in silence,
           Fisherman! speak low!
         And through our toils the king
           Of the seas can never go."

 52, 21. _Boulevard Bonne Nouvelle_--Boulevard of Good News.

 52, 24. _galette du gymnase_--flat cake, sold in booths near the
         Theatre du Gymnase.

 52, 26. _yashmak_--a double veil worn by Turkish women.

 52, 34. _queue_--in a line.

 53,  5. _chiffonniers_--rag-pickers.

 53, 33. _Accélérées (en correspondence avec les Constantines)_--Express
         omnibuses (connecting with the Constantine line).

 54,  3. _comme on ne l'est plus_--as one is no longer.

 54,  6. _distribution de prix_--prize distribution.

 54, 19. "_Au clair de la lune!_"--"By the light of the moon!" (A
         French nursery rhyme. Readers of "Trilby" will remember her
         rendering of this song at her Paris concert.)

 54, 20. "_Vivent les vacances-- ...
             Gaudio nostrò._"
         "Hurrah for the vacations--
           Come at length;
         And the punishments
           Will have ended!
         The ushers uncivil,
           With barbarous countenance,
         Will go to the devil,
           To our joy."

 56, 20. _Musée de Marine_--Marine Museum.

 56, 28. _ennui_--tedium.

 57,  7. _en rhétorique et en philosophie_--in the rhetoric and
         Philosophy classes.

 57,  9. _cerf-dix-cors_--ten-branched stags.

 57, 13. _ventre à terre_--at full speed.

 57, 17. _Toujours au clair de la lune_--Always by moonlight.

 58,  2. _hommes du monde_--men of the world (in society).

 58,  4. _Splendide mendax_--Nobly false.

 58. 18. _salle d'études_--school-room.

 58, 22. _en cinquième_--in the fifth class.

 59, 16. _de service_--on duty.

 59, 17. _la suite au prochain numéro_--to be continued in our next.

 59. 19. _Le Tueur de Daims_--The Deerslayer.

 59, 20. _Le Lac Ontario_--The Lake Ontario.
         _Le Dernier des Mohicans_--The Last of the Mohicans.
         _Les Pionniers_--The Pioneers.

 59, 31. _Bas-de-cuir_--Leather-stocking.

 60, 10. _la flotte de Passy_--the Passy crowd.

 60, 13. _Liberté--égalité--fraternité! ou la mort! Vive la
         république_--Liberty--equality--fraternity! or death!
         Hurrah for the republic!

 60, 22. _le rappel_--to arms.
         _la générale_--the fire drum.

 61, 11. _Brigand de la Loire_--Brigand of the Loire.

 62,  3. _en pleine révolution_--in the midst of the revolution.

 62,  5. _piou-piou_--the French equivalent of Tommy Atkins. A
         Private soldier.

 62, 17. _Sentinelles, prenez-garde à vous_--Sentinels, keep on the

 62, 22. _feu de peloton_--platoon fire.

 63,  6. "_Ce sacré Josselin--il avait tous les talents!_"--"That
         Confounded Josselin--he had all the talents!"

 64, 10. _lebewohl_--farewell.

 64, 11. _bonsoir, le bon Mozart_--good-night, good Mozart.

 64, 13. _Château des Fleurs_--Castle of Flowers.

 65,  5. _Tout vient à qui ne sait pas attendre_--Everything comes
         to him who does not know how to wait.

 65, 13. _revenons_--let us go back.

 65, 24. _impériale_--outside seat.

 65, 26. _saucisson de Lyon à l'ail_--a Lyons sausage flavored with

 65, 27. _petits pains_--rolls of bread.

 65, 28. _bière de Mars_--Mars beer.

 66, 12. _entre les deux âges_--between the two ages.

 66, 18. _Le Gué des Aulnes_--Alders Ford.

 67,  1. _Si vis pacem, para bellum_--If you wish peace, prepare for

 67, 13. _tutoyées_--addressed as "thee" and "thou," usual only
         among familiars.

 67, 16. _bonnets de coton_--cotton caps.

 68, 19. _à l'affût_--on the watch.

 68, 28. "_Caïn! Caïn! qu'as-tu fait de ton frère?_"--"Caïn! Caïn!
         what hast thou done with thy brother?"

 69,  8. _le saut périlleux_--the perilous leap.

 69, 20. _que j' n'ai jamais vu_--whom I've never seen.

 69, 29. "_Dis-moi qué'q' chose en anglais._"--"Tell me something in

 69, 32. "_Qué'q' çà veut dire?_"--"What's that mean?"

 69, 33. "_Il s'agit d'une église et d'un cimetière!_"--"It's about
         a church and a cemetery!"

 70,  5. "_Démontre-moi un problème de géométrie_"--"Demonstrate to
         me a problem of geometry."

 70, 13. "_Démontre-moi que A + B est plus grand que
         C + D._"--"Demonstrate to me that A + B is greater than C + D."

 70, 17. "_C'est joliment beau, la géométrie!_"--"It's mighty fine,
         this geometry!"

 70, 24. _brûle-gueule_--jaw-burner (a short pipe).

 70, 31. "_Mange-moi ça--ça t' fera du bien!_"--"Eat that for me;
         it'll do you good!"

 72,  1. _Sais pas_--Don't know.

 72,  4. _Père Polyphème_--Father Polyphemus.

 72, 12. _ces messieurs_--those gentlemen.

 72, 22. "_Hé! ma femme!_"--"Hey! my wife!"

 72, 23. "_Voilà, voilà, mon ami!_"--"Here, here, my friend!"

 72, 24. "_Viens vite panser mon cautère!_"--"Come quick and dress
         my cautery!"

 72, 27. _café_--coffee.

 72, 32. "_Oui, M'sieur Laferté_"--"Yes, M'sieur Laferté."

 72, 33. "_Tire moi une gamme_"--"Fire off a scale for me."

 73,  3. "_Ah! q' ça fait du bien!_"--"Ah! that does one good!"

 73, 20. "_'Colin,' disait Lisette_," etc.--
         "'Colin,' said Lisette,
           'I want to cross the water!
         But I am too poor
           To pay for the boat!'
         'Get in, get in, my beauty!
           Get in, get in, nevertheless!
         And off with the wherry
           That carries my love!'"

 75, 18. _le droit du seigneur_--the right of the lord of the manor.

 75, 27. _Àmes en peine_--Souls in pain.

 75, 28. _Sous la berge hantée_, etc.
               Under the haunted bank
                 The stagnant water lies--
               Under the sombre woods
                 The dog-fox cries,
         And the ten-branched stag bells, and the deer come to drink
           at the Pond of Respite.
                 "Let me go, Were-wolf!"
               How dark is the pool
                 When falls the night--
               The owl is scared,
                 And the badger takes flight!
         And one feels that the dead are awake--that a nameless
           shadow pursues.
               "Let me go, Were-wolf!"

 76, 29.
         "_Prom'nons-nous dans les bois
         Pendant que le loup n'y est pas_."

         "Let us walk in the woods
         While the wolf is not there."

 77,  7. _pas aut' chose_--nothing else.

 77, 10. _C'est plus fort que moi_--It is stronger than I.

 77, 20. "_Il est très méchant!_"--"He is very malicious!"

 77, 26. "_venez donc! il est très mauvais, le taureau!_"--"come
         now! the bull is very mischievous!"

 78,  1. _Bon voyage! au plaisir_--Pleasant journey! to the pleasure
         (of seeing you again).

 78,  8. "_le sang-froid du diable! nom d'un Vellington!_"--"the
         devil's own coolness, by Wellington!"

 78, 15. _diable_--devil.

 78, 17. "_ces Anglais! je n'en reviens pas! à quatorze ans! hein,
         ma femme?_"--"those English! I can't get over it! At
         fourteen! eh, my wife?"

 80, 10. _en famille_--at home.

 80, 18. _charabancs_--wagonettes.

 80, 32. _des chiens anglais_--English dogs.

 81,  1. _charmilles_--hedges.

 81, 13. _Figaro quà, Figaro là_--Figaro here, Figaro there.

 81, 17. _charbonniers_--charcoal burners.

 81, 25. _dépaysé_--away from home.
         _désorienté_--out of his bearings.

 81, 26. _perdu_--lost.

 81, 27. "_Ayez pitié d'un pauvre orphelin!_"--"Pity a poor orphan!"

 82, 19. "_Pioche bien ta géométrie, mon bon petit Josselin! c'est
         la plus belle science au monde, crois-moi!_"--"Dig away at
         your geometry, my good little Josselin! It's the finest
         science in the world, believe me!"

 82, 26. _bourru bienfaisant_--a gruff but good-natured man.

 82, 34. "_Enfin! Ça y est! quelle chance!_"--"At last! I've got it!
         what luck!"

 83,  1. _quoi_--what.

 83,  2. "_Le nord--c'est revenu!_"--"The north--it's come back!"

 83,  7. _une bonne fortune_--a love adventure.

 83, 10. _Les Laiteries_--The Dairies.
         _Les Poteries_--The Potteries.
         _Les Crucheries_--The Pitcheries (also The Stupidities).

 83, 26. _toi_--thou.

 83, 27. _vous_--you.

 83, 28. _Notre Père_, etc.--See note to page 16, line 21.

 83, 80. _Ainsi soit-il_--So be it.

 84,  4. _au nom du Père_--in the name of the Father.

 84, 31. _pavillon des petits_--building occupied by the younger

 86,  4. _cancre_--dunce.

 86,  5. _crétin_--idiot.

 86,  6. _troisième_--third class.

 86,  7. _Rhétorique_ (_seconde_)--Rhetoric (second class).

 86,  8. _Philosophie_ (_première_)--Philosophy (first class).

 86, 10. _Baccalauréat-ès-lettres_--Bachelor of letters.

 87, 27. _m'amour_ (_mon amour_)--my love.

 87, 33. _en beauté_--at his best.

 88,  8. "_Le Chant du Départ_"--"The Song of Departure."

 88, 10.
         "_La victoire en chantant nous ouvre la carrière!
         La liberté-é gui-i-de nos pas_" ...

         "Victory shows us our course with song!
         Liberty guides our steps" ...

 88, 25. "_Quel dommage ... c'est toujours ça!_"--"What a pity that
         we can't have crumpets! Barty likes them so much. Don't you
         like crumpets, my dear? Here comes some buttered
         toast--it's always that!"

 88, 29. "_Mon Dieu, comme il a bonne mine ... dans la glace_"--"Good
         heavens, how well he looks, the dear Barty!--don't
         you think so, my love, that you look well? Look at yourself
         in the glass."

 88, 32. "_Si nous allions à l'Hippodrôme ... aussi les jolies
         femmes?_"--"If we went to the Hippodrome this afternoon,
         to see the lovely equestrian Madame Richard?  Barty adores
         pretty women, like his uncle! Don't you adore pretty women,
         you naughty little Barty? and you have never seen Madame
         Richard.  You'll tell me what you think of her; and you, my
         friend, do you also adore pretty women?"

 89,  5. "_Ô oui, allons voir Madame Richard_"--"Oh yes! let us go
         and see Madame Richard."

 89,  9. _la haute école_--the high-school (of horsemanship).

 89, 14. _Café des Aveugles_--Café of the Blind.

 90,  4. "_Qu'est-ce que vous avez donc, tous?_"--"What's the matter
         with you all?"

 90,  5. "_Le Père Brassard est mort!_"--"Father Brossard is dead!"

 90, 10. "_Il est tombé du haut mal_"--"He died of the falling

 90, 13. _désoeuvrement_--idleness.

 91,  8. _de service as maître d'études_--on duty as study-master.

 93, 27. "_Dites donc, vous autres_"--"Say now, you others."

 93, 29. _panem et circenses_--bread and games.

 94, 19. "_Allez donc ... à La Salle Valentino_"--"Go it,
         godems--this is not a quadrille! We're not at Valentino

 95,  1. "_Messieurs ... est sauf_"--"Gentlemen, blood has flown;
         Britannic honor is safe."

 95,  3. "_J'ai joliment faim!_"--"I'm mighty hungry!"

 96,  1. "_Que ne puis-je aller_," etc.
         "Why can I not go where the roses go,
                 And not await
         The heartbreaking regrets which the end of things
                 Keeps for us here?"

 96,  8. "_Le Manuel du Baccalauréat_"--"The Baccalaureat's Manual."

 96, 24. _un prévôt_--a fencing-master's assistant.

 97,  5. _rez-de-chaussée_--ground floor.

 97,  9. "_La pluie de Perles_"--"The Shower of Pearls."

 97, 12. _quart d'heure_--quarter of an hour.

 97, 17. _au petit bonheur_--come what may.

 97, 26. _vieux loup de mer_--old sea-wolf.

 98,  2. _Mon Colonel_--My Colonel.

 98,  6. _endimanché_--Sundayfied (dressed up).

 99, 11. _chefs-d'oeuvre_--masterpieces.

 99, 24. _chanson_--song.

 99, 27. "_C'était un Capucin_," etc.
         "It was a Capuchin, oh yes, a Capuchin father,
               Who confessed three girls--
         Itou, itou, itou, là là là!
               Who confessed three girls
         At the bottom of his garden--
               Oh yes--
         At the bottom of his garden!
               He said to the youngest--
         Itou, itou, itou, là là là!
               He said to the youngest
         ... 'You will come back to-morrow.'"

100,  7. _un écho du temps passé_--an echo of the olden times.

100, 11. _esprit Gaulois_--old French wit.

100, 20. "_Sur votre parole d'honneur, avez-vous chanté?_"--"On your
         word of honor, have you sung?"

100, 22. "_Non, m'sieur!_"--"No, sir!"

100, 32. "_Oui, m'sieur!_"--"Yes, sir."

101,  5. "_Vous êtes tous consignés!_"--"You are all kept in!"

101, 10. _de service_--on duty.

101, 19. "_Au moins vous avez du coeur ... sale histoire de
         Capucin!_"--"You at least have spirit. Promise me that you
         will not again sing that dirty story about the Capuchin!"

102, 24. "_Stabat mater_," etc.
         "By the cross, sad vigil keeping,
         Stood the mournful mother weeping,
         While on it the Saviour hung" ...

102, 30. "_Ah! ma chère Mamzelle Marceline!... Et une boussole dans
         l'estomac!_"--"Ah! my dear Miss Marceline, if they were
         only all like that little Josselin! things would go as if
         they were on wheels! That English youngster is as innocent
         as a young calf! He has God in his heart." "And a compass
         in his stomach!"

104, 29. "_Ah! mon cher!... Chantez-moi ça encore une fois!_"--"Ah!
         my dear! what wouldn't I give to see the return of a whaler
         at Whitby! What a 'marine' that would make! eh? with the
         high cliff and the nice little church on top, near the old
         abbey--and the red smoking roofs, and the three stone
         piers, and the old drawbridge--and all that swarm of
         watermen with their wives and children--and those fine
         girls who are waiting for the return of the loved one! By
         Jove! to think that you have seen all that, you who are not
         yet sixteen ... what luck! ... say--what does that really

         'Weel may the keel row!'
         Sing that to me once again!"

105, 21. "_Ah! vous verrez ... vous y êtes, en plein!_"--"Ah! you
         will see, during the Easter holidays I will make such a
         fine picture of all that! with the evening mist that
         gathers, you know--and the setting sun, and the rising
         tide, and the moon coming up on the horizon, and the
         sea-mews and the gulls, and the far-off heaths, and your
         grandfather's lordly old manor; that's it, isn't it?"

         "Yes, yes, Mr. Bonzig--you are right in it."

106, 29. "_C'était dans la nuit brune_," etc.
         "'Twas in the dusky night
         On the yellowed steeple,
             The moon,
         Like a dot on an i!"

108, 17. _en flagrant délit_--in the very act.

109,  4. _la perfide Albion_--perfidious Albion.

109,  8. "_À bas Dumollard!_"--"Down with Dumollard!"

109, 17. _l'étude entière_--the whole school.

109, 19. "_Est-ce toi?_"--"Is it thou?"

109, 23. "_Non, m'sieur, ce n'est pas moi!_"--"No, sir, it isn't

110, 17. "_Parce qu'il aime les Anglais, ma foi--affaire de
         goût!_"--"Because he likes the English, in faith--a matter of

110, 19. "_Ma foi, il n'a pas tort!_"--"In faith, he's not wrong!"

110, 24.
         "_Non! jamais en France,
         Jamais Anglais ne régnera!_"

         "No! never in France,
         Never shall Englishman reign!"

111,  5. _au piquet pour une heure_--in the corner for an hour.
         _a la retenue_--kept in.

111,  6. _privé de bain_--not to go swimming.
         _consigné dimanche prochain_--kept in next Sunday.

111,  9. _de mortibus nil desperandum_--an incorrect version of _de
         mortuis nil nisi bonum_: of the dead nothing but good.

111, 27. _avec des gens du monde_--with people in society.

111, 34. _et, ma foi, le sort a favorisé M. le Marquis_--and, in
         faith, fortune favored M. le Marquis.

112,  9. _vous êtes un paltoquet et un rustre_--you are a clown and
         a boor.

112, 18. _classe de géographie ancienne_--class of ancient

112, 25. "_Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes!_"--"I fear the Greeks even
         when they bear gifts!"

114,  3. "_Le troisième coup fait feu, vous savez_"--"The third blow
         strikes fire, you know."

114, 23. _tisanes_--infusions.

114, 31. "_C'est moi qui voudrais ... comme il est poli_"--"It's
         myself that would like to have the mumps here. I should
         delay my convalescence as much as possible!"
         "How well your uncle knows French, and how polite he is!"

116, 13. _Nous avons tous passé par là_--We have all been through

116, 33. "_Te rappelles-tu ... du père Jaurion?_"--"Do you recall
         Berquin's new coat and his high-hat?"
         "Do you remember father Jaurion's old angora cat?"

118,  7. "_Paille à Dine_," etc., is literally:
         "Straw for Dine--straw for Chine--
         Straw for Suzette and Martine--
           Good bed for the Dumaine!"

119,  1. "_Pourquoi, m'sieur?_"
         "_Parce que ça me plaît!_"
         "What for, sir?"
         "Because it pleases me!"

119, 18. _un point_, etc.--a period--semi-colon--colon--exclamation
         --inverted commas--begin a parenthesis.

119, 31. "_Te rappelles-tu cette omelette?_"--"Do you remember that

120,  1. _version écrite_--written version.

120, 15. _que malheur!_--what a misfortune!

120, 19. "_Ça pue l'injustice, ici!_"--"It stinks of injustice,

120, 25. "_Mille francs par an! ç'est le Pactole!_"--"A thousand
         francs a year! it is a Pactolus!"

122,  7. "_Je t'en prie, mon garçon!_"--"I pray you, my boy!"

123, 24. _La chasse aux souvenirs d'enfance!_--Hunting remembrances
         of childhood!

124,  3. "_Je marcherai les yeux fixés sur mes pensées_," etc.
         "I will walk with my eyes fixed on my thoughts,
           Seeing nothing outside, without hearing a sound--
         By myself, unknown, with bowed back and hands crossed:
           Sad--and the day will for me be as night."

125,  4. _beau comme le jour_--beautiful as day.

125,  6. _la rossignolle_--the nightingale (feminine.)

125, 15. "_A Saint-Blaize, à la Zuecca_" etc.
         "At St. Blaize, and at Zuecca ...
           You were, you were very well!
         At St. Blaize, and at Zuecca ...
           We were, we were happy there!
             But to think of it again
             Will you ever care?
             Will you think of it again?
             Will you come once more?
         At St. Blaize, and at Zuecca ...
           To live there and to die!"

125, 32. _fête de St.-Cloud_--festival of St. Cloud.

125, 33. _blanchisseuse_--laundress.

133, 30. "_Roy ne puis, prince ne daigne, Rohan je suis!_"--"King I
         Cannot be, prince I would not be, Rohan I am!"

133, 34. "_Rohan ne puis, roi ne daigne. Rien je suis!_"--"Rohan I
         cannot be, king I would not be. Nothing I am!"

135, 10. _grandes dames de par le monde_--great ladies of the world.

137,  6. "_O lachrymarum fons!_"--"O font of tears!"

140, 28. Jewess is in French, _juive_.

141, 10. "_Esker voo her jer dwaw lah vee? Ah! kel Bonnure!_"
         Anglo-French for "_Est ce que vous que je dois laver. Ah!
         quel bonheur!_"--"Is it that you that I must wash? Ah! What

142, 12. _Pazienza_--Patience.

143,  8. "_Ne sulor ultra crepidam!_"--"A cobbler should stick to
         his last!"

145,  1. "_La cigale ayant chanté_," etc.
         "The grasshopper, having sung
           The summer through,
         Found herself destitute
           When the north wind came."...

146, 20. "_Spretæ injuria formæ_"--"The insult to her despised

146, 31. _billets doux_--love letters.

152,  8. "_La plus forte des forces est un coeur innocent_"--"The
         Strongest of strengths is an innocent heart."

154,  3. "_Tiens, tiens!... écoute!_"--"There, there! it's deucedly
         pretty that--listen!"

154,  8. "_Mais, nom d'une pipe--elle est divine, cette
         musique--là!_"--"But, by jingo, it's divine, that music!"

155, 26. _bourgeois_--the middle class.

155, 34. _nouveaux riches_--newly rich people.

158,  2. "_La mia letizia!_"--"My Joy!"

160, 17. "_Beau chevalier qui partez pour la guerre_," etc.
         "Brave cavalier, off to the war,
             What will you do
             So far from here?
         Do you not see that the night is dark,
             And that the world
             Is only care?"

160, 23. "_La Chanson de Barberine_"--"The Song of Barberine."

160, 28. _cascamèche_--nightcap tassel.
         _moutardier du pape_--pope's mustardman.
         _tromblon-bolivard_--broad-brimmed blunderbuss.

160, 29. _vieux coquelicot_--old poppy.

160, 31. "_Voos ayt oon ôter!_" Anglo-French for "_Vous êtes un
         autre!_"--"You are another!"

162, 10. _C'est toujours comme ça_--It's always like that.

163, 17. _à bon chat, bon rat_--a Roland for an Oliver.

166, 14. _poudre insecticide_--insect-powder.
         _mort aux punaises_--death to the bugs.

166, 22. _pensionnat de demoiselles_--young ladies' boarding-school.

166, 28. _Je connais ça_--I know that.

168,  8. _eau sucrée_--sweetened water.

168, 18. _Coeur de Lion_--Lion Heart.
         _le Pré aux Clercs_--Parson's Green.

169, 17. _rapins_--art students.

170, 14. "_Bonjour, Monsieur Bonzig! comment allez-vous?_"--"Good-day,
         Mr. Bonzig! how do you do?"

170, 17. "_Pardonnez-moi, monsieur--mais je n'ai pas l'honneur de
         vous remettre!_"--"Pardon me, sir--but I have not the honor
         to remember your face!"

170, 19. "_Je m'appelle Josselin--de chez Brossard!_"--"My name is
         Josselin--from Brossard's!"

170, 20. "_Ah! Mon Dieu, mon cher, mon très-cher!_"--"Ah! My God, my
         dear, my very dear!"

170, 23. "_Mais quel bonheur.... Je n'en reviens pas!_"--"But what
         good luck it is to see you again. I think of you so often,
         and of Whitby! How you have altered! and what a
         fine-looking fellow you are! who would have recognized you!
         Lord of Lords--it's a dream! I can't get over it!"

170, 34. "_Non, mon cher Josselin_"--"No, my dear Josselin."

172,  4. _un peintre de marines_--a painter of marines.

172, 16. _garde champêtre_--park-keeper.

172, 27. _ministère_--public office.

172, 31. "_l'heure où le jaune de Naples rentre dans la nature_"--"the
         hour when Naples yellow comes again into nature."

173, 31. _bonne friture_--good fried fish.

173, 32. _fricassée de lapin_--rabbit fricasee.
         _pommes sautées_--French fried potatoes.
         _soupe aux choux_--cabbage soup.

174,  1. _café chantant_--music-hall.
         _bal de barrière_--ball held in the outer districts of
         Paris, usually composed of the rougher element.

174,  3. _bonsoir la compagnie_--good-night to the company.

174, 26. _prix-fixe_--fixed price.

175,  6. _aile de poulet_--chicken's wing.
         _pêche au vin_--peach preserved in wine.

175,  9. _entre la poire et le fromage_--between pear and cheese.

175, 15. _flâning_--from _flâner_, to lounge.

175, 28. "_Ma foi, mon cher!_"--"My word, my dear!"

176,  3. _ma mangeaille_--my victuals.

176, 18. _Mont de Piété_--pawnshop.

176, 24. _moult tristement, à l'anglaise_--with much sadness, after
         the English fashion.

177, 12. _un jour de séparation, vous comprenez_--a day of
         separation, you understand.

177, 14. _à la vinaigrette_--with vinegar sauce.

177, 16. _nous en ferons l'expérience_--we will try it.

177, 19. _maillot_--bathing-suit.

177, 21. "_Oh! la mer! ... chez Babet!_"--"Oh! the sea, the sea! At
         last I am going to take my header into it--and not later
         than to-morrow evening.... Till to-morrow, my dear
         comrade--six o'clock--at Babet's!"

177, 27. _piquant sa tête_--taking his header.

178,  1. _sergent de ville_--policeman.

178,  4. "_un jour de séparation ... nagerons de conserve_"--"a day
         Of separation! but come also, Josselin--we will take our
         headers together, and swim in each other's company."

178, 13. "_en signe de mon deuil_"--"as a token of my mourning."

178, 23. _plage_--beach.

178, 30. _dame de comptoir_--the lady at the counter.

178, 33. _demi-tasse_--small cup of coffee.
         _petit-verre_--small glass of brandy.

180, 13. _avec tant d'esprit_--so wittily.

180, 14. _rancune_--grudge.

181, 14. _bon raconteur_--good story-teller.

181, 16. "_La plus belle fille ... ce qu'elle a!_"--"The fairest
         girl in the world can give only what she has!"

182,  5._ comme tout un chacun sait_--as each and every one knows.

182, 24. _Tout ça, c'est de l'histoire ancienne_--that's all ancient

183,  8. "_très bel homme ... que joli garçon hein?_"--"fine man,
         Bob; more of the fine man than the handsome fellow, eh?"

183, 12. _Mes compliments_--My compliments.

183, 19. "_Ça y est, alors! ... à ton bonheur!_"--"So it's settled,
         then! I congratulate you beforehand, and I keep my tears
         for when you have gone. Let us go and dine at Babet's: I
         long to drink to your welfare!"

184,  1. _atelier_--art studio.

184,  6. _le Beau Josselin_--the handsome Josselin.

184, 33. _serrement de coeur_--heart burning.

185, 22. _Marché aux oeufs_--Egg Market.

186,  4. "_Malines_" or "_Louvain_"--Belgian beers.

186, 25. "_Oui; un nommé Valtères_"--"Yes; one called Valtères"
          (French pronunciation of Walters).

186, 28. "_Parbleu, ce bon Valtères--je l'connais bien!_"--"Zounds,
         good old Walters--I know him well!"

188, 26. _primo tenore_--first tenor.

188, 29. _Guides_--a Belgian cavalry regiment.

188, 32. _Cercle Artistique_--Art Club.

191,  1. "_O céleste haine_," etc.
         "O celestial hate,
           How canst thou be appeased?
         O human suffering,
           Who can cure thee?
         My pain is so heavy
           I wish it would kill me--
           Such is my desire.

         "Heart-broken by thought,
           Weary of compassion,
         To hear no more,
           Nor see, nor feel,
         I am ready to give
           My parting breath--
           And this is my desire.

         "To know nothing more,
           Nor remember myself--
         Never again to rise,
           Nor go to sleep--
         No longer to be,
           But to have done--
           That is my desire!"

191, 23. _Fleur de Blé_--Corn-flower.

192, 31. "_Vous allez à Blankenberghe, mossiê?_"--"You go to
         Blankenberghe, sah?"

193,  1. "_Je souis bienn content--nous ferons route ensiemblè!_" (_je
         suis bien content--nous ferons route ensemble_)--"I am fery
         glad--ve will make ze journey togezzar!"

193,  5. _ragazza_--girl.

193,  7. "_un' prodige, mossié--un' fenomeno!_"--"a prodigy, sah--a

193, 24. _Robert, toi que j'aime_--Robert, thou whom I love.

193, 29. "_Ma vous aussi, vous êtes mousicien--jé vois ça par la
         Votre figoure!" (Mais vous aussi vous etes musicien--je
         vois ça par votre figure!)_--"But you also, you are a
         moosician--I see zat by your face!"

194,  4. _elle et moi_--she and I.

194,  5. _bon marché_--cheap.

194, 34. _en famille_--at home.

195,  7. "_Jé vais vous canter couelquê cose (Je vais vous chanter
         quelque-chose)--una piccola cosa da niente!--vous comprenez
         l'Italien?_"--"I vill sing to you somezing--a leetle zing
         of nozzing!--you understand ze Italian?"

195, 12. _je les adore_--I adore them.

195, 16. "_Il vero amore_"--"True Love."

195, 17. "_E la mio amor è andato a soggiornare
         A Lucca bella--e diventar signore...._"

         "And my love has gone to dwell
         In beautiful Lucca--and become a gentleman...."

195, 29. "_O mon Fernand!_"--"O my Fernand!"

196, 13. "_Et vous ne cantez pas ... comme je pourrai._"
         "And you do not sing at all, at all?"
         "Oh yes, sometimes!"
         "Sing somezing--I vill accompany you on ze guitar!--do not
         be afraid--ve vill not be hard on you, she and I--"
         "Oh--I'll do my best to accompany myself."

196, 21. "_Fleur des Alpes_"--"Flower of the Alps."

199, 23. _médaille de sauvetage_--medal for saving life.

200,  2. _Je leur veux du bien_--I wish them well.

200, 17. _Largo al factotum_--Make way for the factotum.

201, 24. _bis! ter!_--a second time! a third time!

201, 26. "_Het Roosje uit de Dorne_"--"The Rose without the Thorn."

202, 15. _sans tambour ni trompette_--without drum or trumpet
         (French leave).

202, 29. _Hôtel de Ville_--Town-hall.

203,  4. "_Una sera d' amore_"--"An Evening of Love."

203, 16. "_Guarda che bianca luna_"--"Behold the silver moon."

204, 15. _boute-en-train_--life and soul.

205, 10. "_À vous, monsieur de la garde ... tirer les
         "Your turn, gentleman of the guard."
         "The gentlemen of the guard should always fire the first!"

205, 20. "_Je ne tire plus ... main malheureuse un jour!_"--"I will
         fire no more--I am too much afraid that some day my hand
         may be unfortunate!"

205, 33. "_Le cachet ... je lui avais demandé!_"--"Mr. Josselin's
         seal, which I had asked him for!"

206,  4. _Salle d'Armes_--Fencing-school.

206, 10. _des enfantillages_--child's play.

206, 15. "_Je vous en prie, monsieur de la garde!_"--"I pray you,
         gentleman of the guard!"

206, 17. "_Cette fois, alors, nous allons tirer ensemble!_"--"This
         time, then, we will draw together!"

206, 23. _maître d'armes_--fencing-master.

206, 29. "_Vous êtes impayable ... pour la vie_"--"You are
         extraordinary, you know, my dear fellow; you have every
         talent, and a million in your throat into the bargain! If
         ever I can do anything for you, you know, always count upon

208,  1. "_Et plus jamais ... quand vous m'écrirez!_"--"And no more
         empty envelopes when you write to me!"

208, 10. _la peau de chagrin_--the shagreen skin. (The hero of this
         story, by Balzac, is given a piece of shagreen, on the
         condition that all his wishes will be gratified, but that
         every wish will cause the leather to shrink, and that when
         it disappears his life will come to an end. _Chagrin_ also
         means sorrow, so that Barty's retina was indeed "a skin of
         sorrow," continually shrinking.)

208, 29. "_Les misères du jour font le bonheur du lendemain!_"--"The
         misery of to-day is the happiness of to-morrow!"

210, 23. _dune_--a low sand-hill. (They are to be found all along
         the Belgian coast.)

214, 22. _par_--by.

214. 32. _dit-on_--they say.

216, 22. _bien d'accord_--of the same mind.

217,  1. _née_--by birth.

217, 29. _moi qui vous parle_--I who speak to you.

219,  3. _Kermesse_--fair.

219,  6. _estaminet_--a drinking and smoking resort.

219, 10. _à la Teniers_--after the manner of Teniers, the painter.

219, 34. _in secula seculorum!_--for ages of ages!

220,  3. _Rue des Ursulines Blanches_--Street of the White

220,  5. _des Soeurs Rédemptoristines_--Sisters of the Redemption.

220, 11. _Frau_--Mrs. (This is German; the Flemish is _Juffrow_.)

220, 26. "_La Cigogne_"--"The Stork Inn."

221,  9. _salade aux fines herbes_--salad made of a mixture of

222, 28. _à fleur de tête_--on a level with their heads.

223,  6. _savez vous?_--do you know?

223, 26. _chaussées_--roads.

224, 26. _Les Maîtres Sonneurs_--The Master Ringers.
         _La Mare au Diable_--The Devil's Pool.

225, 21. _séminaire_--clerical seminary.

225, 29. "_Mio caro Paolo di Kocco!_"--"My dear Paul de Kock!"

225, 32. "_Un malheureux_" etc.
         "An unfortunate dressed in black,
         Who resembled me like a brother."
           (Du Maurier himself.)

228, 14. _mein armer_--my poor.

228, 17. _Lieber_--dear.

229,  5. _Bel Mazetto_--Beautiful Mazetto.

229,  7. "_Ich bin ein lustiger Student, mein Pardy_"--"I am a jolly
         Student, my Barty."

229, 15. _Katzenjammer_--sore head.

229, 18. _Liebe_--love.

230,  2. _tout le monde_--everybody.

231, 18. _autrefois_--the times of yore.

231, 21. "_Oh, non, mon ami_"--"Oh, no, my friend."

231, 29. "_Petit bonhomme vit encore_"--"Good little fellow still

232,  1."_Hé quoi! pour des peccadilles_," etc.
         "Eh, what! for peccadilloes
           To scold those little loves?
         Women are so pretty,
           And one does not love forever!
         Good fellow
           They call me ...
         My gayety is my treasure!
         And the good fellow is still alive--
         And the good fellow is still alive!"

233, 10. _Soupe-au-lait_--Milk porridge.

234,  2. _muscæ volitantes_--(literally) hovering flies.

242,  1. "_Mettez-vous au régime des viandes saignantes!_"--"Put
         Yourself on a diet of rare meat!"

242,  4. "_Mettez-vous au lait!_"--"Take to milk!"

242,  9. _désoeuvrement_--idleness.

242, 16. "_Amour, Amour_," etc.
         "Love, love, when you hold us,
         Well may we say: 'Prudence, good-bye!'"

244,  1. "_Il s'est conduit en homme de coeur!_"--"He has behaved
         like a man of spirit!"

244,  3. "_Il s'est conduit en bon gentilhomme_"--"He has behaved
         like a thorough gentleman!"

247,  9. _Les Noces de Jeannette_--Jeannette's Wedding.

247, 13. "_Cours, mon aiguille ... de notre peine!_"
         "Run, my needle, through the wool!
           Do not break off in my hand;
         For to-morrow with good kisses
           Jean will pay us for our trouble!"

249,  3. "_Hélas! mon jeune ami!_"--"Alas! my young friend!"

252,  1. _Sursum cor! sursum corda!_--Lift up your heart! Lift up
         Your hearts!

252, 11. _coupe-choux_--cabbage-cutter.

252, 13. "_Ça ne vous regarde pas, ... ou je vous ..._"--"It's none
         of your business, you know! take yourselves off at once, or
         I'll ..."

252, 19. "_Non--c'est moi qui regarde, savez-vous!_"--"No--it is I
         who am looking, you know!"

252, 20. "_Qu'est-ce que vous regardez?... Vous ne voulez pas vous
         en aller?_"
         "What are you looking at?"
         "I am looking at the moon and the stars. I am looking at
         the comet!"
         "Will you take yourself off at once?"
         "Some other time!"
         "Take yourself off, I tell you!"
         "The day after to-morrow!"
         "You ... will ... not ... take ... yourself ... off?"

252, 32. "_Non, sacré petit ... restez où vous êtes!_"
         "No, you confounded little devil's gravel-pusher!"
         "All right, stay where you are!"

254, 16. "_... du sommeil au songe--
         Du songe à la mort._"

         "... from sleep to dream--
         From dream to death."

254, 21. "_Il est dix heures ... dans votre chambre?_"--"It's ten
         o'clock, you know? Will you have your coffee in your room?"

255, 14. _ça date de loin, mon pauvre ami_--it goes a long way back,
         my poor friend.

256,  8. _punctum coecum_--blind spot.

257, 27. _mon beau somnambule_--my handsome somnambulist.

257, 33. _On ne sait pas ce qui peut arriver_--One never knows what
         may happen.

258, 17. _tiens_--look.

262, 10. _sans peur et sans reproche_--without fear and without

262, 15. "_Ça s'appelle le point caché--c'est une portion de la
         rétine avec laquelle on ne peut pas voir...._"--"It is
         called the blind spot--it is a part of the retina with
         which we cannot see...."

263, 13. _c'est toujours ça_--that's always the way.

263, 23. _plus que coquette_--more than coquettish.

269,  8. _père et mère_--father and mother.

271, 31. _more Latino_--in the Latin manner.

272, 12. _pictor ignotus_--the unknown painter.

273,  6. "_Que me voilà.... Ôte ton chapeau!_"
         "How happy I am, my little Barty--and you? what a pretty
         town, eh?"
         "It's heaven, pure and simple--and you are going to teach
         me German, aren't you, my dear?"
         "Yes, and we will read Heine together; by the way, look! Do
         you see the name of the street at the corner? Bolker
         Strasse! that's where he was born, poor Heine! Take off
         your hat!"

273, 19. _Maitrank_--May drink. (An infusion of woodruff in light
         White wine.)

273, 34. "_Johanna, mein Frühstück, bitte!_"--"Johanna, my
         breakfast, please!"

276, 27. _la barre de bâtardise_--the bar of bastardy.

279, 15. _der schöne_--the handsome.

280, 24. _Speiserei_--eating-house.

283,  5. "_ni l'or ni la grandeur ne nous rendent heureux_"--"neither
         gold nor greatness makes us happy."

285, 22. _mes premières amours_--my first loves.

286,  3. "_Petit chagrin ... un soupir!_"
         "Little sorrow of childhood costing a sigh!"

286,  9. _Il avait bien raison_--He was quite right.

289, 15. _rien que ça_--nothing but that.

290, 29. "_Il a les qualités ... sont ses meilleures qualités._"
         "The handsome Josselin has the qualities of his faults."
         "My dear, his faults are his best qualities."

297,  4. _Art et liberté_--Art and liberty.

299, 11. "_Du bist die Ruh', der Friede mild!_"--"Thou art rest,
         sweet peace!"

300, 19. _c'est plus fort que moi_--it is stronger than I.

304,  2. _dans le blanc des yeux_--straight in the eyes.

306, 20. _damigella_--maiden.

308, 27. "_Die Ruhe kehret mir zurück_"--"Peace comes back to me."

308, 30. _prosit omen_--may the omen be propitious.

309,  5. _prima donna assoluta_--the absolute first lady. (Grand
         Opera, the "leading lady.")

310, 32. _gringalet-jocrisse_--an effeminate fellow.

312,  3. _faire la popotte ensemble au coin du feu; c'est le ciel_--to
         potter round the fire together; that is heaven.

312, 29. _Ausstellung_--exhibition.

314,  8. _loch_--a medicine of the consistence of honey, taken by
         licking or sucking.

318, 10. "_Et voilà comment ça s'est passé_"--"And that's how it

320, 14. _et plus royaliste que le Roi_--and more of a royalist than
         the King.

321, 13. _cru_--growth.

323, 32. _L'amitié est l'amour sans ailes_--Friendship is love
         without wings.

325,  9. _En veux-tu? en voilà!_--Do you want some? here it is!

327, 10. _kudos_--glory.

328,  9. _Dis-moi qui tu hantes, je te dirai ce que tu es_--Tell me
         who are your friends, and I will tell you what you are.

331, 20. _si le coeur t'en dit_--if your heart prompts you.

335,  5. _esprit de corps_--brotherhood.

335,  8. _Noblesse oblige_--Nobility imposes the obligation of

336, 15. _bêtise pure et simple_--downright folly.

337, 15. _Je suis au-dessus de mes affaires_--I am above my

338, 11. _Maman-belle-mère_--Mama-mother-in-law.

338, 30. _vous plaisantez, mon ami; un amateur comme moi_--you are
         joking, my friend; an amateur like myself.

338, 31. _Quis custodiet (ipsos custodes)?_--Who shall guard the
         guards themselves?

339,  2. _monsieur anglais, qui avait mal aux yeux_--English
         gentleman, who had something the matter with his eyes.

340,  5. _La belle dame sans merci_--The fair lady merciless.

342,  4. _de par le monde_--in society.

342, 18. _je tâcherai de ne pas en abuser trop!_--I will try not to
         take too much of it!

344, 15. _le dernier des Abencerrages_--the last of the
         Abencerrages. (The title of a story by Châteaubriand.)

347, 24. _à mon insu_--unknown to me.

354, 11. _On a les défauts de ses qualités_--One has the faults of
         one's virtues.

354, 15. _joliment dégourdie_--finely sharpened.

358, 10. _La quatrième Dimension_--The Fourth Dimension.

360, 25. _nous avons eu la main heureuse_--we have been fortunate.

360, 28. _smalah_--encampment of an Arab chieftain.

363, 19. _Je suis homme d'affaires_--I am a man of business.

373, 28. _un conte à dormir debout_--a story to bore one to sleep.

374, 23. _Ou avions-nous donc la tête et les yeux?_--What were we
         doing with our minds and eyes?

377,  1. "_Cara deúm soboles, magnum Jovis incrementum_"--"The dear
         offspring of God, the increase of Jove."

378, 22. _Tous les genres sont bons, hormis le genre ennuyeux_--All
         kinds are good, except the boring kind.

380,  3. _C'était un naïf, le beau Josselin_--He was ingenuous, the
         handsome Josselin.

381,  9. _Arma virumque cano_--Arms and the man I sing.--The first
         words of Virgil's _Æneid_.
         _Tityre tu patulæ (recubans sub tegmine fagi)_--Thou,
         Tityrus, reclining beneath the shade of a spreading
         beech.--The first line of the first _Eclogue_ of Virgil.
         _Mæcenas atavis (edite regibus)_--Mæcenas descended from
         royal ancestors.--Horace, _Odes_, 1, 1, l.

381, 10. [Greek: Mênin aeide]--Sing the wrath.--The first words of
         Homer's _Iliad_.

381, 21. _Débats--Le Journal des Débats_,--a Parisian literary

386,  3. _sommité littéraire_--literary pinnacle.

386, 16. _Rouillon Duval_--a class of cheap restaurants in Paris.

386, 30. _Étoiles Mortes_--Dead Stars.

388,  5. _la coupe_--the cutwater.

388, 11. _à la hussarde_--head first.

389,  2. _la très-sage Héloïse_--the most learned Heloise. (Another
         of the ladies mentioned in Villon's "Ballade of the Ladies
         of Olden Time." See note to page 24, line 30.)

389,  5. _nous allons arranger tout ça_--we'll arrange all that.

389, 20. _C'est la chasteté même, mais ce n'est pas Dèjanire_--It is
         chastity itself, but it is not Dèjanire.

390, 20. _très élégante_--very elegant.

390, 22. _d'un noir de jais, d'une blancheur de lis_--jet black,
         lily white.

391,  1. _ah, mon Dieu, la Diane chasseresse, la Sapho de
         Pradier!_--ah, My God, Diana the huntress, Pradier's

391,  8. _un vrai type de colosse bon enfant, d'une tenue
         irréprochable_--a perfect image of a good-natured colossus,
         of irreproachable bearing.

391, 15. _tartines_--slices of bread and butter.

391, 17. _une vraie ménagerie_--a perfect menagerie.

392,  7. _belle châtelaine_--beautiful chatelaine.

393,  1. _gazebo_--summer-house.

393, 18. _le que retranché_--name given in some French-Latin
         grammars to the Latin form which expresses by the
         infinitive verb and the accusative noun what in French is
         expressed by "que" between two verbs.

394, 32. _alma mater dolorosa_--the tender and sorrowful mother.

394, 33. _marâtre au coeur de pierre_--stony-hearted mother.

396, 19. _Tendenz novels_--novels with a purpose.

396, 28. _nouvelle-riche_--newly rich.

404, 11. _on y est très bien_--one is very well there.

406, 26. "_Il est dix heures_" etc.--See note to page 254, line 21.

406, 30. _vilain mangeur de coeurs que vous êtes_--wretched eater of
         hearts that you are.

407, 30. _Un vrai petit St. Jean! il nous portera bonheur, bien
         sûr_--A perfect little St. John! he will bring us good
         luck, for sure.

408, 27. _nous savons notre orthographie en musique là bas_--we know
         our musical a b c's over there.

412,  8. _in-medio-tutissimus (ibis)_--You will go safest in the

412, 20. _diablement bien conservé_--deucedly well preserved.

413, 11. _O me fortunatum, mea si bona nôrim!_--O happy me, had I
         known my own blessings!

414, 28. _un malheureux raté_--an unfortunate failure

415,  9. _abrutissant_--stupefying.

416, 15. _affaire d'estomac_--a matter of stomach.

418,  1. "_Je suis allé de bon matin_," etc.
         "I went at early morn
           To pick the violet,
         And hawthorne, and jasmine,
           To celebrate thy birthday.
         With my own hands I bound
         The rosebuds and the rosemary
           To crown thy golden head.

         "But for thy royal beauty
           Be humble, I pray thee.
         Here all things die, flower, summer,
           Youth and life:
         Soon, soon the day will be,
         My fair one, when they'll carry thee
           Faded and pale in a winding-sheet."

418, 19. _périssoires_--paddle-boats.

418, 21. _station balnéaire_--bathing resort.

419, 25. _utile dulci_--the useful with the pleasant.

420,  9. _la chasse aux souvenirs_--the hunt after remembrances.

420, 25, _s'est encanaillé_--keeps low company.

422, 25. _porte-cochère_--carriage entrance.

423,  1. "_Ah, ma foi!... la balle au camp_"--"Ah, my word, I
         understand that, gentlemen--I, too, was a school-boy once,
         and was fond of rounders."

423, 11. _Le Fils de la Vierge_--The Virgin's Son.

423, 12. _mutatis mutandis_--the necessary changes being made.

423, 34. "_Moi aussi, je fumais ... n'est ce pas?_"--"I too smoked
         when it was forbidden; what do you expect? Youth must have
         its day, musn't it?"

424,  3. _dame_--indeed.

425, 30. _cour des miracles_--the court of miracles.  (A
         meeting-place of beggars described in Hugo's "Notre Dame de
         Paris." So called on account of the sudden change in the
         appearance of the pretended cripples who came there.)

426, 16. "_Ô dis-donc, Hórtense_," etc.--"Oh say, Hortense, how cold
         it is! whenever will it be eleven o'clock, so that we can
         go to bed?"

428,  5. _nous autres_--we others.

428, 22. _Numero Deus impare gaudet_--The god delights in uneven

430, 22. "_Aus meinen Thränen spriessen_," etc.
         "Out of my tear-drops springeth
            A harvest of beautiful flowers;
         And my sighing turneth
            To a choir of nightingales."

435, 24. _Ah, mon Dieu!_--Ah, my God!

437, 34. _Établissement_--establishment.

439, 31. _Pandore et sa Boîte_--Pandore and her Box.

441, 12. "_C'est papa qui paie et maman qui régale_"--"Papa pays and
         mamma treats."

445,  8. _au grande trot_--at a full trot.

447, 12. _Nous étions bien, là_--We were well, there.

447, 21. _l'homme propose_--man proposes.

448,  1. "_O tempo passato, perchè non ritorni?_"--"O bygone days,
         why do you not return?"

448,  7. "_Et je m'en vais,"_ etc.
         "And off I go
         On the evil wind
           Which carries me
         Here and there
         Like the
           Leaf that is dead."

448. 13. _rossignolet de mon âme_--little nightingale of my soul.

448, 23. _Da capo, e da capo_--Over and over again.

449,  4. _medio de fonte leporum (surgit amari aliquid)_--from the
         midst of the fountain of delights something bitter arises.


       *       *       *       *       *


Written and Illustrated by George du Maurier. Post 8vo, Cloth,
Ornamental, $1 75; Three-quarter Calf, $3 50; Three-quarter Levant,
$4 50.

It is the secret of the extraordinary charm of this story that it
does not appear to be a story; it has almost no marks of artifice;
it hardly appears to have been planned; it affects us as a record,
kept in the simplest and most informal way, of certain very
interesting events and persons.--_Outlook_, N. Y.

A book that every one will like because it has the essential
qualities of wit, passion, character, and human nature; a book that
has the grace and charm of a finely artistic style all through, and
that is likely to rest on our shelves long after most of the novels
of this year of grace have passed out of our remembrance.--_St.
James's Gazette_, London.


With an Introduction by his Cousin, Lady ***** ("Madge Plunket").
Edited and Illustrated by George du Maurier. Post 8vo, Cloth,
Ornamental, $1 50; Three-quarter Calf, $3 25; Three-quarter Levant,
$4 25.

There are so many beauties, so many singularities, so much that is
fresh and original in Mr. Du Maurier's story that it is difficult to
treat it at all adequately from the point of view of criticism. That
it is one of the most remarkable books that have appeared for a long
time is, however, indisputable.--_N. Y. Tribune._


Sketched by George du Maurier. 4to, Oblong, Cloth, $2 50.

In it a searching observer of many phases of humanity, charming in
his wit and without the blemish of malice, presents with his pencil
as much of his social philosophy as he could give with his pen in a
hundred novels. In spite of its title and origin, a collection of
Mr. Du Maurier's sketches covers any society; and in looking it over
one is only too content that the artist chose to exploit a society
which affords the beauty and elegance of the Du Maurier
type.--_N. Y. Sun._

The kindly humor of Du Maurier, the quiet incisiveness of his
satire, and his inimitable skill at the portrayal of social types
are delightfully manifested in this series of one hundred plates,
ending up with the melodramatic death-bed scene of Trilby.--_Boston


By Felix Moscheles. With Sixty-three Illustrations by George du
Maurier. 8vo, Cloth, Gilt Tops and Uncut Edges, $2 50.

For these, and for a few references to the originals of the
characters in the novel, and to the hypnotic experiments in which Du
Maurier was interested in his youth, the book will doubtless be
bought. But he must be a dull person who does not find another charm
in Mr. Moscheles's artless narrative, mostly about nothing at all,
or about the nothings that make up the joy of living to madcap
boys.--_N. Y. Mail and Express._

It possesses the literary quality that marked his more mature
illustrations, and evinces the quality of reticence that preserved
his humor from becoming caricature. He has often been compared to
Thackeray; this work suggests Hood, and it would be interesting to
know how much he cared for his English predecessors and
assimilated.--_Philadelphia Press._

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York

_The above works are for sale by all booksellers, or will be sent by
the publishers by mail, postage prepaid, on receipt of the price._

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